(Find out who will be nominated for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards live on "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" on Nov. 30 from 10–11 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.)
Greetings, GRAMMY fans! My name is Linda Kernohan, aka Miss Music Nerd, and I'm thrilled to be your GRAMMY.com Community Blogger for the Classical Field. Music has been my passion ever since I can remember; I've been playing the piano since I was big enough to climb onto the bench, and I started composing my own music as a teenager. I write about all aspects of classical music and beyond at www.missmusicnerd.com.
The thing I love most about the classical genre is the amazing variety that exists within the field. Classical music encompasses everything from intimate solo performances, such as Sharon Isbin's Journey To The New World (2009 GRAMMY winner for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance) to large-scale productions involving 100 musicians or more, such as Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio: Symphony No. 10 (Best Classical Album, 2009), the former nicknamed "Symphony of a Thousand" because of the massive orchestra, three choirs and eight soloists it calls for — and everything in between. The classical repertoire spans hundreds of years, from the choral music of the Renaissance, performed by groups such as the Tallis Scholars (Best Small Ensemble Performance nominee, 2010) to freshly written works by living composers, such as Jennifer Higdon's Percussion Concerto (Best Classical Contemporary Composition, 2009).
Classical music is diverse in terms of who participates, too. It is definitely an all-ages gig — ask any classical musician how they got started, and chances are you'll hear a story about lessons starting at an early age. Some classical artists have found success at an early age, like violinist Sarah Chang, who made her first recording at age 10. And most classical musicians continue pursuing their beloved art their entire lives. Pianist Vladimir Horowitz gave his last concert tour when he was 83, and composer Elliott Carter is still writing music today at age 102!
Finally, classical music is international. While its roots are European, it is studied and performed all over the world.
Like other genres, classical music is keeping up with technology, social media and a challenging economic climate. Musicians are finding new ways to reach audiences. Many young ensembles are taking their music out of concert halls and into cafes, nightclubs and even shopping malls and train stations. If you can't get to New York to hear the Metropolitan Opera or Los Angeles to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic, they'll come to you in the form of live broadcasts at your local movie theater.
Chances are, even if you don't live in a big city, you can find classical performances near you, given by community orchestras, choral groups, college music departments, and more.
Classical music is like a giant candy store, with something for every mood and occasion. I hope you'll join me in checking it out!