Tom Huizenga

Max Richter's music seems ready-made for movies – and that's not in any way a put down. The music is powerful on its own, but certain pieces take on new depth when paired with well-designed visuals.

The Women's March and #MeToo movement have helped raise the volume for women's voices across the country. But one place where women still struggle to be heard is in America's symphony halls. Take a look at which composers the top U.S. orchestras are performing in the upcoming season, and you will find some surprising disparities.

The myriad stories about Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson usually fall into two groups: the ones about her enormous, laser-focused voice and those about her rapier-sharp wit.

By her own admission, composer Florence Price had two strikes against her.

"To begin with I have two handicaps – those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins," is how she began a 1943 letter to Serge Koussevitzky, the revered conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She added later, "I would like to be judged on merit alone."

Pianist George Li
Simon Fowler

With a 1000-watt smile and warm-hearted performances, the 22-year-old pianist is proof that classical music can drop the pretense and kick some butt.

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