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Playing Musical Instruments Makes You Think Fast, Saves Your Brain

Color photograph of four round embroidery hoops, each containing cloth embroidered with the profile of a brain
Musicians make for quick thinkers, according to the results of a new study.
10:18AM
October
2, 2013

Practicing an instrument can make you think faster – for longer.

Not Your Grandmother’s Body Art: Classical Music Tattoos

black-and-white photograph of an eighth-note tattooed behind someone's ear
Take note: tattoos are for classical music lovers, too.
12:49PM
September 19, 2013

Tattoos too lowbrow for those who dig classical music? Nope.

The Emotional Power of Beethoven’s Music

9:45AM
September
17, 2013

“(Beethoven),” says pianist Jonathan Biss, “can make us feel that he’s reinventing the world.”

Pianist Jonathan Biss on Beethoven As Cultural Hero

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Pianist Jonathan Biss talks with Classical 101's Jennifer Hambrick about Beethoven as Cultural Icon.
9:55AM
September
10, 2013

Last week I told you about concert pianist Jonathan Biss’ online course on Beethoven’s piano sonatas, offered through Coursera in conjunction with the Curtis Institute of Music. The course has 25,000 participants, who log on weekly to hear one of the world’s foremost pianists talk about one of the greatest composers of piano music.

Ethiopian Nun, 90, Is Newly Discovered “Musical Genius”

1:01PM
August
21, 2013

A cloistered Ethiopian Orthodox nun has been brought into the spotlight after an Israeli musician discovered reams of her original musical compositions, many of which will be premiered today in Jerusalem.

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Look Good.

Black-and-white photograph of an upright piano with some of the ivory broken off the tops of its keys
New research confirms that in the world of classical music, looks do matter.
12:36PM
August
20, 2013

We’ve seen it coming since at least the advent of the “Live in HD” age several years ago, but now it’s official. How a performing classical musician looks seems to be even more important than how he or she sounds, according to the Harvard Gazette. Chia-Jung Tsay, a former graduate student at Harvard University and [...]

At 72, Guitarist John Williams Plans to Retire Soon

6:14AM
August
19, 2013

It’s being reported that Classical guitarist John Williams, who is 72, plans to retire soon. Apparently, he has not made an official announcement yet, but I am a little surprised to hear the news since he is still playing at such a high level.

The Fifty States – in Music – Saturday on The American Sound

four-color map of the United States of America
Tour Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, Utah and Louisiana on The American Sound, Saturday at 6pm on Classical 101.
1:35PM
August
15, 2013

Ohio is at once Rosie the Riveter and the gracious farmer’s wife. (For some reason, I’ve always imagined Ohio as a girl.) Massachusetts, the cut-to-the-chase, it’s-too-cold-to-waste-time-doing-this place for serious people. And if California were a guy, he’d wear one of those loud Hawaiian shirts.

The 10 Best Classical Music Tear-Jerkers

6:00AM
July
10, 2013

Most of us have favorite pieces of music, or maybe a favorite composer. Something that helps us focus on work, stay calm during the morning commute, or maybe music to help get us through a workout. But is there music that never fails to make you tear up?

Writer Goes On ‘Listening Diet’ To Learn To Love Some Music

6:00AM
May
30, 2013

Adam Baer says that his deep. dark secret is that there is quite a bit of music he “cannot stand.” He decided to go on a listening diet in an attempt to change his tune.