classical music

Flavorwire Premiere: yMusic’s “Music in Circles” Video Mixes Glitch-Art with Modern Dance

For the uninitiated, New York’s yMusic is the go-to group for “orchestral flourish” on indie rock records. Its six instrumentalists have worked with everyone from Beck to Bjork, St. Vincent to Sufjan Stevens, and now, Ben Folds. As announced this week, yMusic will hit the road with Folds this spring for a series of dates in which they’ll perform the album they made together, which is set for release later this year. We’ll get into that in just a second, in our Q&A with yMusic’s CJ Camerieri, a multi-instrumentalist who won Grammys for his contributions to Bon Iver’s sophomore album, and recently toured with Paul Simon and Sting. … Read More

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Gael García Bernal Plays a Sexy Orchestra Conductor in ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Trailer

Amazon has a compelling selection of television shows and movies to watch on Prime, but in terms of original… Read More

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Flavorwire Premiere: Cellist Maya Beiser Transforms Nirvana’s “Lithium” Into Ferocious Classical Music

From Owen Pallett to Andrew Bird to Kishi Bashi, there’s no shortage of musicians incorporating classical string sections into rock and pop. Far fewer do it the other way around, or at least on a level that reaches classical neophytes. Brilliant cellist Maya Beiser’s reimaginations of rock and roll hits deserve the kind of mainstream recognition Kronos Quartet’s covers of Sigur Rós and the Pixies have received. … Read More

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10 Great Movies Inspired by Operas

There’s plenty of drama to spare when it comes to the world of opera. Occasionally, filmmakers have been directly inspired by the songbooks of classical composers, while others have looked to the performances and thundering music to create symbolic, contemporary interpretations. Opera is rich, profound source material. The opulent costumes and staging, the history, and the emotional stories are ripe for cinematic adaptations. We’ve collected a few of our favorites for your perusal in celebration of the 109th anniversary of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and the Blu-ray release of Don Giovanni. See what a behind-the-scenes documentary, a Werner Herzog epic, and other retellings of opera’s theatrical tales have to offer after the jump. … Read More

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10 Pieces of Classical Music You Know Thanks to the Movies

Think back to the first time you heard the overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Were you just a kid watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in a dark cinema? Similarly, thanks to V for Vendetta, we can’t hear Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture without picturing a revolution, or Ravel’s Boléro without thinking about Bo Derek “making love” to Dudley Moore. It’s hard to list all the pieces of classical music used in soundtracks that are now inextricably associated with specific events and moods, but here are some of the most ubiquitous of the bunch. … Read More

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Wildly Animated Portraits of Classical Musicians

We’re not sure where the ridiculous stereotype that classical musicians are uptight came from, but thankfully folks like Denmark-based cellist and photographer Nikolaj Lund — who we spotted on Colossal — are proving those people wrong. The award-winning artist enjoys pointing the camera at those in his sphere. Lund’s images depict classical musicians in unique ways, leaving the concert hall behind, opting to shoot his subjects with their instruments in water, across the desert, and flying through the air. There’s a feverish energy in each photograph, creating a new appreciation for the passion these musicians —including Lund — clearly have for their art. Below, we’ve shared a gallery of the Lund’s stunning photos. We hope you enjoy them as much as we… Read More

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The Cultural Omnivore’s Introduction to Classical Music

Gone are the days when a taste for classical music had to be backed by a six-figure salary, an old-money social circle, and season tickets to the Metropolitan Opera House. Today’s culture vultures consume widely, albeit not indiscriminately, and while you might not put Beethoven at the top of your pump-up mix, we know you’ve all grooved out to Hungarian Dance No. 5 and wish you played the cello every now and then. With indie idols like Radiohead and Sufjan Stevens playing shows accompanied by orchestras, genres have never been more permeable; but the classical-light instrumentals that cameo in the pop tracks we love are only palate teasers. If you like what you’ve heard so far and want to explore where it all came from, enjoy our four-course primer on classical music, after the jump. … Read More

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10 Young Female Composers You Should Know

For those of us who have been lazily, unsuccessfully looking for a way into contemporary classical music, NPR offers a rare enticement: They polled their listeners about their favorite composers under 40 and have culled a top 100 from over 800 suggestions. The resulting list is a fascinating one, with more traditional musicians sharing space with indie innovators including Jónsi, Dan Deacon, Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife, Joanna Newsom, and Andrew Bird. Considering that just about all of history’s best-known composers are male, we were excited to see how many women made the list. And while we love Andersson and Newsom, we thought we’d take this opportunity to explore a handful of young, female composers that we — and our readers — didn’t know quite as well. Ten of our favorites are after the jump. … Read More

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Classical Music’s New Function: Highly Effective Teenager Repellent

Since Culture Monster already made the Clockwork Orange connection that occurred to us the moment we saw the headline “Classical music still effective at dispersing loitering teens,” we’ll give you the news straight: It looks like teenagers are as repulsed by old-people music as their elders are by hip hop and whatever Ke$ha… Read More

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Exclusive: Sara Houghteling Schools Us on Art History

About a month back, we posted the first page of Pictures at an Exhibition, by Sara Houghteling, a history lesson in the form of a novel. Houghteling drew inspiration from the autobiography of Rose Valland, who played an instrumental role in the protection and recovery of some of France’s great works of art when Nazis plundered the museums and galleries of Paris in World War II. After the jump, Houghteling talks with us about her research, and the true stories from which her fiction is constructed. … Read More

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