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Classical Highlights

Features

Classical Music News from NPR

A Visitor's Guide To Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion'

Join tenor Ian Bostridge, conductor Ton Koopman and other singers, scholars and conductors for a guided tour of Bach's sacred masterpiece, first heard on Good Friday in Leipzig in 1727.


Alaskan Composer Wins Pulitzer For 'Become Ocean'

Alaska-based composer John Luther Adams, whose music is rich with references to and concern about nature, won for his orchestral Become Ocean. The judges said it "suggests a relentless tidal surge."


A Debut Symphony That Embraced The World

An action thriller of a symphony, Mahler's First is piled high with ambition, self-reflection and fear. Conductor Marin Alsop shares her approach to Mahler's multilayered music.


Denied A Stage, She Sang For A Nation

Seventy-five years ago, Marian Anderson made history when she sang to crowd of 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial. The Daughters of the American Revolution had denied her the use of Constitution Hall.


Fiddle In A Pickle: Jonathan Carney's Concertmaster Quiz

What is a concertmaster? The orchestra's lead violinist who plays all those tricky solos. Test your knowledge of fiddling against Jonathan Carney, concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony.


Play It Again And Again, Sam

We're all seduced by repetition, music research suggests — 90 percent of the music we listen to, we've heard before. Beyond music, this bias toward familiarity holds up in every culture. What gives?


Musicians, Take Note: Your Instrument May Be Contraband

Tighter regulations on ivory coming in and out of the U.S. could have a profound impact on musicians who travel with antique instruments.


Two Leads, Two Deaths In 18 Hours

In a first for the Metropolitan Opera, Kristine Opolais made two major-role debuts in the space of 18 hours. The Latvian soprano sang leads in Madama Butterfly and La Bohème back to back.


A Time Capsule From A Soviet-Era Childhood

When violinist Yevgeny Kutik's family left Minsk for the U.S. in 1990, they were stripped of most of their belongings. He was stunned at what his mother, a music teacher, fought to keep.


How Do You Sweep The Ivy League? Practice — The Viola. (Really.)

He has all kinds of other things going for him, but star student Kwasi Enin wrote in his college essay that music is the core of his happiness. Maybe that's why all eight Ivy League schools want him.


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