15 Books About Music For the Young & Young at Heart

Every library could use more books! Here are our top books about music for the young and the young at heart.

Conductor Mariss Jansons on Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony, Music, and Politics

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, titled “Leningrad,” was written during one of the most horrific sieges in history. From 1941 to 1944, Hitler’s army surrounded Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and over one million civilians died. Conductor Mariss Jansons, renowned for his interpretations of Shostakovich symphonies, has a particularly interesting connection to Leningrad. Jansons was born in Soviet-controlled Latvia. Later, he would ...

Leif Ove Andsnes on Becoming Beethoven, Brahms

Like most musicians, Andsnes does not always get to pick and choose what he plays. In recent years, however, Andsnes has been able to immerse himself in some of his favorite repertoire. “I just finished a four year Beethoven journey where I immersed myself in the music of this great composer, especially his five piano concertos,” he said. “I basically just played Beethoven for years.”

The Truth About the “Worst Singer of All Time,” Florence Foster Jenkins, Told by Her Accompanist

Florence Foster Jenkins couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Yet, she made her Carnegie Hall debut to a completely sold-out house on October 25, 1944. In fact, tickets were so in-demand that the night of the performance, 2,000 people hoping to grab seats to hear Jenkins were turned away.

“Rhythm is universal”: Tabla Player Zakir Hussain on Music, Politics, & Cross-Cultural Collaboration

When Zakir Hussain, one of the world’s greatest percussionists, speaks about his childhood in Mumbai, it’s easy to understand how his career has led him to collaborations with diverse artists from Ravi Shankar to Yo-Yo Ma to Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. “Every day I grew up studying the Quran, singing Christian hymns, and playing Hindu devotional music,” Hussain said ...

10 Contemporary Composers You Should Know (…Who Also Happen to Be Women)

During March, Women’s History Month, we draw special attention to the music of women composers past and present on WFMT. Here are 10 living composers who are changing music today, along with 10 albums featuring their music you might want to add to your library.

Beyond Barber — 11 more Rossini operas you should know

Rossini is one of the most successful opera composers in history. He made so much money from the 39 original operas he created between 1810 and 1829 that he retired in his late 30s. Here are a few Rossini operas worth exploring besides his most well known work, The Barber of Seville. Rossini made his professional debut at age 18 ...

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Lute but Were Afraid to ask – with Paul O’Dette

Paul O’Dette is one of the most sought-after lute players in the world. In addition to being an active soloist, O’Dette is the co-artistic director of the Boston Early Music Festival, teaches at the Eastman School of Music, and records extensively, with credits on over 120 albums. His recording of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfer won the 2015 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. ...

How Handel’s Messiah Got a Gospel Makeover

Handel’s Messiah has been a perennial favorite since the oratorio premiered in Dublin in 1742. Like any beloved classic, the work has also been a favorite for composers to adapt. Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah offers a contemporary, American interpretation of Handel’s original.

Your Top 10 Favorite Piano Concertos

We asked you to vote on your favorite piano concertos, which we have been counting down for two weeks along with works that might be new to you. Here are your top 10 favorite piano concertos revealed!

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