A Soprano Plans to Deliver A Violetta to Die For

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Marina Poplavskaya was an unknown in the U.S. just five years ago. But this season she has the unusual distinction of headlining back-to-back Metropolitan Opera premieres of major new Verdi productions. She tells us how she prepared.

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Results of the 2010 Classical Countdown

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Throughout the month of December, we asked you to vote for your favorite pieces of classical music at WQXR.org. After receiving hundreds of votes, we present the Top 50. Thanks to everyone who participated.

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The Most Popular Classical Albums of 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Here are the year's most popular albums according to Billboard magazine's year-end sales charts and traffic to WQXR.org. Tell us about your favorite album about 2010.

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A Farewell to Musicians Who Died in 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

The past 12 months have seen the deaths of opera legends, composers and a heavyweight impresario. Here - at the end of another year - we pay tribute to some of the faces no longer with us.

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Classical Music in 2010: Joyful Noise, Troubled Silence

Sunday, December 26, 2010

In 2010, some of the most memorable moments in classical music were marked by silence, not sound: Joan Sutherland passed on, the Detroit Symphony went on strike, classical radio stations went dark, and orchestras continued to face financial troubles.

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Top Five Viral Videos of 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

From guerrilla choruses to Gaga getups, 2010 has seen more musicians using online video to showcase a less predictable and more approachable type of classical music. Here are our top five.

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New Yorkers Vie for YouTube Symphony

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Among the 300 finalists for this year's YouTube Symphony Orchestra are a handful of New Yorkers. Here are three who are vying for a shot at the orchestra, which will rehearse and perform at the Sydney Opera House in March 2011. The event will be streamed live on YouTube.

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Audition Politics Confront YouTube Orchestra

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

As organizers of the YouTube Symphony prepare for its second edition at the Sydney Opera House in March 2011, new questions are raised about the orchestra's American-Idol-type voting process.

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Poll: The Biggest Classical Music Story of 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This was the year that the financial crisis rocked many corners of the classical music world. It was also a year that saw some notable programming ventures. What do you think was the biggest story of 2010?

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My Nine Lives by Leon Fleisher and Anne Midgette

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Leon Fleisher's recovery from a debilitating focal dystonia in his right hand -- and the thirty-year search for a cure -- is detailed in My Nine Lives, a new memoir co-written with Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette.

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Arvo Pärt: Tabula Rasa [Deluxe Re-issue]

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Arvo Pärt's music is immediately recognizable for its quiet, compelling sense of gravitas. Yet its apparent simplicity was achieved through multiple, painstaking revisions. A reissue of Tabula Rasa, the Estonian composer’s 1984 minimalist classic, is just out in a deluxe edition marking his 75th birthday.

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Listen to This by Alex Ross

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Incurable brainiacs and the plain curious will find much to absorb in Listen to This, an anthology of writings by the New Yorker music critic Alex Ross. Particularly fascinating is how Ross connects the dots from Bach to Bjork, Schubert to Sinatra .

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James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met (DVD & CD box sets)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

As the opera fanatic on your list knows, the Metropolitan Opera loves anniversaries and it loves its James Levine. This year the company marked his 40th year working at the Met with James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met, two boxed sets, one on video and another on audio drawn from radio and TV transmissions, each with 11 live operas. 

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The Score: Concert Venue Health Inspections

Friday, December 17, 2010

With a restaurant that’s part of a larger institution like Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall it’s easy to forget that those kitchens are also subject to rigorous inspections by the city’s health department. Here's how the big ones stack up.

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Tiny Fruitcake Gems

Friday, December 17, 2010

In America, fruitcake is so closely associated with Christmas that it almost becomes a necessary part of the celebration, even for those who don't like it! Here is a moist, flavorful, miniature version, which features more cake than candied fruit, that everyone loves. These gems keep for months, becoming ever more mellow, but they are also scrumptious right after baking. Get a head start on your holiday baking by making these in the fall. They are great for Thanksgiving feasts as well as Christmas and ship beautifully to loved ones who can't be home for the holidays.

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Ginger Pennies

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My first Christmas present and my first cookbook as a new bride was, at my request, The Joy of Cooking. It was from that book that I made my first cake (spice cake), my first bread (white bread), and my first pie (angel pie). Each was a great success; the book was everything its title promised. To this day, my favorite cookie recipe from Joy is for ginger thins, which inspired this recipe. These lovable little wafers are truly pennies from heaven: incredibly delicate, crispy, gingery, and addictive. Don't be tempted to make them too large as they will lose their unique daintiness.

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Poll: Christmas Carols in a Minor Key

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is a time of joy and festivity, and most of the holiday’s music reflects that. Still, a few holiday tunes were written in minor keys and carry a darker or more melancholic atmosphere.

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Chocolate-Pistachio Marzipan Spirals

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lora Brody, friend and author of Cooking with Memories, developed these spirals from two recipes in The Cake Bible: pistachio marzipan and ganache. It was my fondest hope that people would use my recipes to create their own specialties in this way, and I am delighted to report that the silky-rich chocolate ganache, rolled together with chewy pistachio marzipan, is a combination that tastes every bit as good as it looks. Thank you, Lora. These candies are terrific to have on hand to serve with espresso to friends who drop in with holiday gifts and wishes.

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Audio Slideshow: Leonard Bernstein at Work

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Steve J. Sherman is a familiar face to concertgoers in New York, as the city's most prominent concert photographer. One of his most famous subjects was iconic conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein.

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A Conversation with Simon Rattle

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conductor Simon Rattle talks with Jeff Spurgeon about making his long-awaited Met Opera debut, his work with the Berlin Philharmonic, and why he learned to stop worrying and love The Nutcracker.

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