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Classical Music Features

  • the simpsonsA Perfectly Cromulent Classical Guide To 'The Simpsons' Marathon
    From its start nearly 25 years ago, 'The Simpsons' was different. Not only was it animated, it had a wealth of voice actors and writing talent. It was highly intelligent, absurdly funny and more than occasionally touching. Not surprisingly, classical music has come up often on the show. Here's a guide to that music, ahead of an upcoming 'Simpsons' TV marathon.August 21, 2014
  • Aaron Fagerstrom, age 17, in Honors RecitalRegional Spotlight: Highlights from the Young Artist World Piano Festival
    Two teenage pianists were featured at the Young Artist World Piano Festival last summer. Their "beyond their years" performances are in this week's Regional Spotlight.August 21, 2014
  • dolce wind quintet state fairOn the Classical MPR Stage: The Dolce Wind Quintet
    The members of the Dolce Wind Quintet have a strong relationship with MPR, having performed as Class Notes artists in schools around the state. On Thursday, Aug. 21, Dolce Wind Quintet will perform at the MPR booth at the State Fair. Learn more about this ensemble.August 21, 2014
  • PAX Prime 2014 Preview on Top Score (Part One)
    Imagine yourself in a stadium filled with 70,000 fans. That's how many video game fans travel to Seattle during Labor Day weekend for the PAX Prime video game convention. I'll be there hosting a panel called Maestros of Video Games.August 21, 2014
  • Harmony in the Park in pictures and video
    Here's a fun look back: Harmony in the Park delighted audiences in Minneapolis, Mankato and Duluth back in June. Each day, the weather threatened, but the air cleared just in time for each concert. Enjoy these photos by freelance photographer Bill Hickey.August 20, 2014
  • What does a music major listen to for relaxation?
    As a music major at the tail end of my college career, I've led a rewarding, though exhausting, last few years. The time I spend practicing piano (my main instrument), going to lessons, classes, rehearsals, and studying - not to mention working a part-time job - can add up to 16-hour days, most of it filled with music. So it amazes me that after all that activity, listening to music is still the way that I choose to relax.August 20, 2014
  • New Classical Tracks: Ljova, 'Melting River'
    Violist and composer Lev Zhurbin, aka Ljova, has released a new album -- and it's only available on vinyl or via digital download. Why not on CD? Ljova explains as he shares the story of his new album.August 20, 2014
  • Flicks in Five: Star Wars
    John Williams provided the music for sci-fi's equivalent of The Ring Cycle, "Star Wars." Six films and billions of dollars later, Williams' music stands as some of the best movie music of all time.August 19, 2014
  • Music with Minnesotans: Joe and Mary Keyes
    Joe and Mary Keyes are owners of the Howard Street Booksellers in Hibbing, Minn. They love books, theater and Hibbing history.August 19, 2014
  • What do classical musicians do to relax?
    Many people turn to classical music for relaxation, but actually playing the music takes a lot of effort and concentration. What do classical musicians do to unwind after snapping their instrument cases closed?August 19, 2014
  • Class Notes: How History Influences Music
    Did you know music often reflects the time and place in which it was written? For example, Zoltan Kodaly's 'Dances of Galanta' gives us a look at a society and culture that was forever altered by the march of history. A new Class Notes video from Classical MPR shares the history behind the music.August 19, 2014
  • Met Opera Tentatively Settles With 2 Major Unions
    A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera -- the largest opera house in the world-- appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.August 18, 2014
  • Tiny Desk Concert: Pacifica Quartet
    With this NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet, we have the opportunity to explore the world of a single composer. With the arguable exception of Bela Bartok's six string quartets, it's generally accepted that the 15 by Dmitri Shostakovich are the strongest body of quartets since Beethoven.August 18, 2014
  • First Listen: Cameron Carpenter, 'If You Could Read My Mind'
    Don't let the spandex pants, bejeweled shoes and modified mohawk fool you: Cameron Carpenter is a serious musician. He's a modern-day throwback to the flamboyant virtuosos of the 19th century. Like Liszt or Paganini, Carpenter dazzles audiences with blazing technique, igniting enthusiasm for his music and his instrument, the pipe organ.August 18, 2014
  • Discover cantatas on this week's Learning to Listen
    On this week's Learning to Listen, discover what a cantata is, and hear a new cantata by American composer Robert Kyr.August 18, 2014