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Renee Fleming.

Listen Renee Fleming On 'Song Travels'

December 13, 2013 – The opera star sings some favorite songs, as well as a Gershwin tune with Michael Feinstein.


Classical albums we loved this year.

Read NPR Classical's 10 Favorite Albums Of 2013

December 13, 2013 – A guide to some releases from the year gone by that we think are really great.

British songwriter Laura Mvula was a favorite on public radio stations around the country.

Read Heavy Rotation: Public Radio's Songs Of 2013

December 12, 2013 – Hear public radio stations' favorite songs of the year, from indie rock to cutting-edge classical.

It was a big year for extravagant classical box sets.

Read A Bumper Crop Of Classical Box Sets

December 6, 2013 – Amid a banner year for classical music box sets, advice on what to splurge on.

From left: Video director Joe Sabia, bassist Michael Thurber and recording engineer Matt McCorkle of CDZA.

Watch Classical Pranksters Don't Just Play Music: They Play With It

December 3, 2013 – Collective Cadenza, or CDZA, is a group of musicians whose YouTube videos receive millions of views.


Yuja Wang at NPR's studio in Washington, D.C.

Read Yuja Wang: Rooted In Diligence, Inspired By Improvisation

December 2, 2013 – The pianist says she hears a connection between "Rach 3" and improvisations from the late Art Tatum.


Djuro Zivkovic's On the Guarding of the Heart has won the Grawemeyer award for music composition.

Watch Serbian Composer Djuro Zivkovic Wins Grawemeyer Music Prize

December 1, 2013 – Hear On the Guarding of the Heart, the piece that earned the award for the Serbian-born composer.

Pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki presents the "viola organista" on Oct. 18 in Krakow, Poland. Zubrzycki spent almost four years building the instrument, which is based on a late 15th-century design by Leonardo da Vinci.

Watch Da Vinci's String Organ Must Be Heard To Be Believed

December 1, 2013 – Pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki has brought one of Leonardo da Vinci's lesser-known inventions to life.


Ah, the holidays: time to enjoy some great seasonal music.

Read Confronting The Ghosts Of Classical Christmas Albums Past

November 27, 2013 – What makes for a really great holiday album — 12 drummers drumming or quiet carols?

Conductor James Levine in rehearsal with Russian virtuoso Evgeny Kissin.

Read After Ailing, A Favorite Conductor Stages His Comeback

November 26, 2013 – Live at Carnegie Hall captures a riveting experience with a beloved conductor, James Levine.


Composer William Jay Sydeman, whose first major orchestral premiere was with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963.

Read As JFK Died In Dallas, Music Was Born In Boston

November 26, 2013 – Meet the man whose music premiered on one of the saddest days of the Boston Symphony — and the U.S.


Watch Kronos Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

November 25, 2013 – The intrepid champions of new music bring a lullaby, rare blues and a work by Bryce Dessner to NPR.


Stanley Kubrick's The Shining strikes its terrifying tone with help from the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music underscores several of its tensest scenes.

Watch A Sound Of Fear, Forged In The Shadow Of War

November 23, 2013 – NPR's Arun Rath says the music that made The Shining so scary was shaped by real-life horror.


In Penderecki's music there is a struggle between melody and dissonance.

Read The Sound of Struggle Tempered With Terror: Penderecki At 80

November 23, 2013 – Discover the great Polish composer's haunting, viscerally dramatic music in a Penderecki primer.

A singer takes the stage during the first performance of "Grimes on the Beach," an outdoor production of Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes, on June 17, 2013 in Aldeburgh, England.

Read Making Music To Be Useful, And For The Living

November 22, 2013 – The centennial of celebrated composer Benjamin Britten is being marked by concerts around the world.


Benjamin Britten takes a cup of tea during rehearsals for his War Requiem at Coventry Cathedral, in Coventry, England in May, 1962.

Read Consumed By Violence, With Hope For Peace: Britten's 'War Requiem'

November 21, 2013 – To mark Britten's centennial, Marin Alsop discovers the composer via his blood-soaked War Requiem.


Food and music mingle in Pieter Claesz's Still Life with Musical Instruments (1623).

Read The Orchestral Recipe, From The Pilgrims To Today

November 21, 2013 – Like those in a Thanksgiving dinner, the main ingredients of an orchestra have changed over time.


Tenor Nicholas Phan and harpist Sivan Magen perform at a group house in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Watch Britten Goes Back To Brooklyn With Nicholas Phan

November 20, 2013 – A tenor brings three quirky folk songs from England back to bohemian Brooklyn.

A portrait of the composer Benjamin Britten from 1948.

Read Act Like You Know: Benjamin Britten

November 19, 2013 – Britain's artistic idol would be 100 this Friday. We've got your cheat sheet to his music.

The elegant conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony in a live performance from Carnegie Hall on November 13, 2013.

Read San Francisco Symphony In Concert WQXR

November 13, 2013 – Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas mixes Mozart (with pianist Jeremy Denk) and bold American works. WQXR

John Tavener's ethereal music was influenced by the Russian Orthodox traditions.

Watch Remembering 'Holy Minimalist' Composer John Tavener

November 12, 2013 – Britain's John Tavener, whose music was beloved by many far outside classical music, died Tuesday.


Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, written in response to the devastation of both World Wars, premiered in 1962.

Read First Listen: Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem'

November 10, 2013 – Britten's response to bloodshed remains as vital as it was when his Requiem premiered in 1962.

Pianist Paul Lewis is drawn to the late piano sonatas by Franz Schubert.

Watch Paul Lewis: Confronting Schubert's Nightmare WGBH

November 7, 2013 – The pianist describes this sinister, delusive music as a violent dream merging with reality. WGBH

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