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It's Been A Really Bad Week For Classical Music

Labor disputes engulfed the Minnesota Orchestra. Bankruptcy shuttered the New York City Opera. Even Carnegie Hall had to cancel its opening-night gala. What gives?
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Sandra Boynton: "Frog Trouble"

Beloved children's author, illustrator and songwriter Sandra Boynton has gone country in her latest album, "Frog Trouble," with a roster of big-name stars lending their talents.


This Opera Will Eat Your Heart Out

In few operas does all the mayhem express what underlies George Benjamin's Written on Skin. The work conveys a profound awareness of human cruelty and its inextricable connection to passion and art.

A Veteran Traces America's Biography In Music, From Coney Island To Vietnam

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans may have trouble answering questions about what war was like — but Vietnam veterans say they weren't even asked. Composer and Vietnam vet Kimo Williams says he turned to music to explain his war experience, and that it continues to define his work.

You're Only 69 Questions Away From A New Song (About You)

Every one of the 17 songs on Jim Bianco's new album Cookie Cutter is inspired by a fan. Against her better judgment, NPR's Audie Cornish answered the questionnaire that inspired another.

On 'Days Are Gone,' Three Sisters HAIM It Up

Can the highly publicized band turn its hype into hits? Ken Tucker wants to join the fan club.

Gospel's Blind Boys Meet Changing Times With Open Minds

Formed in the 1930s during Jim Crow, The Blind Boys of Alabama have been singing gospel for seven decades. For the new album I'll Find a Way, the group has teamed up with a younger artist: Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors

After a round of emergency fundraising failed, New York's "People's Opera" is shutting down. Unfortunately, many — including the company's current director and its musicians — saw this coming.

Steady And Swingin': Tootie Keeps The Tempo

At 78, jazz drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath is still displaying his aptitude for making songs swing while keeping them firmly in time. Critic Tom Moon reviews Tootie's Tempo, Heath's collaboration with two younger jazz players.

Dave Holland's 'Prism' Goes To 11, Elegantly

Prism features one of the loudest bands of the bassist's career. The pleasures of the groove here are complex and deep — it's not just about moving feet.