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Fresh Tracks: The rising stars of classical music

This interview originally aired on "In the Moment" on SDPB Radio.

The recent death of famed classical music conductor Seiji Ozawa, one of the most influential conductors of the 20th century, got David Hersrud thinking.

Hersrud is a classical music fan. He was brought up in a household where listening to Gaîté Parisienne or Glenn Gould’s interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was as commonplace as his friends' parents tuning in to the Lawrence Welk show.

He's always pleased to see signs of life in the classical genre, such as when the SXSW festival staged a classical showcase and panel discussion.

So, Hersrud ruminated on this question: Is there a new generation of classical artists out there? And how do they compare to the Yo-Yo Mas, the Martha Argerichs, the Itzhak Perlmans and the Seiji Ozawas?

After SXSW, Hersrud did some digging.

He says what he found was inspiring. Classic FM had an exhaustive article featuring a list of 30 (yes, 30) rising stars. The Washington Post had a list of 23 rising stars and Gramophone in the UK had another list of 10.

For Hersrud, it was a huge sigh of relief. And those lists weren't all he found. Here are a few of the composers and conductors he says to watch.

South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho signed a recording contract in 2016 and has already released nine albums.

Sean Shibe is equally at home as a classical guitarist as he is playing a Fender Stratocaster.

Tiffany Poon made an appearance in the last episode of "Fresh Tracks" and Hersrud says she deserves a mention here. Here's more from "Diaries: Schumann."

Young conductors are starting to make their mark. Finnish conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä will take over the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2027.

Itzhak Perlman’s protégé Randall Goosby has already made an NPR Tiny Desk appearance.

Hersrud says one of the most interesting of the new generation is Le Consort, a chamber ensemble of four musicians who are acclaimed for their interpretations of the 17th- and 18th-century repertoire. Hersrud loves their new album "Philarmonica."

Another discovery is trumpet virtuoso Matilda Lloyd and her latest album of operatic arias arranged for trumpet.

With that extensive list of musicians, Hersrud says he's just scratching the surface.

It turns out classical music is alive and doing very, very well.