Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, creator of contemplative music, photographed in 1990 by influential patron Betty Freeman. Betty Freeman/ECM Records hide caption

itoggle caption Betty Freeman/ECM Records

Gabriel Kahane is the rare musician who travels easily between classical, musical theater and pop. His new album is The Ambassador. Josh Goleman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Josh Goleman/Courtesy of the artist

Titania awakes clinging rapturously to Bottom, still wearing the donkey's head, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mendelssohn wrote music for a production of the play in 1843. Henry Fuseli/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Henry Fuseli/Getty Images

Jessye Norman performs late on June 6, 2008 during the 14th Sacred World Music Festival. Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Valentina Lisitsa's new album, Chasing Pianos, features music from Michael Nyman's score to the 1993 film The Piano. Alexei Kuznetsoff/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Alexei Kuznetsoff/Courtesy of the artist

When hitting a high note, mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick says, "You have to have support. You have to have resonance. People have to understand what you're saying." David Sauer/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption David Sauer/Courtesy of the artist

Star violinist Gil Shaham, whose newest recording project surveys the wildly different violin concertos of the 1930s. Luke Ratray/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Luke Ratray/Courtesy of the artist

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Tom Randle (left) and Daniel Okulitch in the opera Brokeback Mountain. Javier del Real/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Javier del Real/Courtesy of the artist

Pioneering American violinist Maud Powell (1867-1920). Wikimedia Commons hide caption

itoggle caption Wikimedia Commons

A Chinese student at the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, where speakers playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony were rigged up to drown out government broadcasts. Battle Hymns Productions hide caption

itoggle caption Battle Hymns Productions