Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, whose recording of music by John Adams made our Top 10 of 2012. Bill Swerbenski/courtesy of the artists hide caption

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To mark the group's 25th anniversary, Anonymous 4 commissioned the new piece love fail from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Chris Carroll/Brooklyn Academy of Music hide caption

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The New York Philharmonic performing at the current incarnation of Avery Fisher Hall in January 2011. Chris Lee/courtesy of the New York Philharmonic hide caption

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A garden serves as the stage in the opera. Zhang Yi hide caption

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After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

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Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977. James Garrett/New York Daily News via Getty Images hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

A computer science study shows that when an orchestra's musicians closely follow the lead of the conductor, rather than one another, they produce better music.

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Chopin, whose Ballade No. 1 in g minor is one of the "musical moments" that inspired a New York Times series. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä, whose pleas to his symphony's management and players just went public. Todd Buchanan/courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra hide caption

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This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere. Kevin Gift hide caption

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American composer Elliott Carter, circa 1975. He died this Monday at age 103. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images hide caption

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Elliott Carter at Tanglewood in 2008 on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz is sitting right behind Carter. Michael J. Lutch hide caption

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Composer Elliott Carter at the piano in 1989. Jacques M. Chenet/Corbis hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Elliott Carter, Giant Of American Music, Dies At 103

The composer, who was born in 1908 and won two Pulitzer Prizes for music that could be challenging and adventurously modern, died in New York.

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A window-screen view toward conductor Marin Alsop's studio, badly damaged during the hurricane. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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St. Paul Chamber Orchestra violists Evelina Chao and Maiya Papach wage battle in happier times. courtesy of the Musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra hide caption

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The original production of John Adams' Nixon in China (at Houston Grand Opera) celebrates the 25-year mark. Jim Caldwell /Houston Grand Opera hide caption

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Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ryan Donnell hide caption

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The Minnesota Orchestra is one of many orchestras around the country dealing with labor disputes. Greg Helgeson hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

During Lockout Season, Orchestra Musicians Grapple With Their Future

American symphonies have just begun a new season — but many musicians around the country have yet to play a single note on stage.

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The Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra perform Beethoven's Fidelio in January 2011 at the Benjamin and Maria Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio. Courtesy of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

In Ohio, A Three-Way Musical Marriage Of Convenience

After struggling with budget issues, the Dayton Philharmonic, Ballet and Opera banded together to form a single arts organization.

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The Minnesota Orchestra may go on strike after management proposed to cut musicians' salaries by 28 percent. Courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Trouble In The Twin Cities: Two Orchestras In Labor Disputes

Both the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra may be headed for a strike.

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Pianist Van Cliburn made a surprise appearance at the 50th Anniversary Van Cliburn Competition Gold Medalists concert in Fort Worth, Texas Sept. 6. Courtesy of the Van Cliburn Foundation hide caption

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