Daniel Rafimayeri

Heather Cowper, all creative commons / heatheronhertravels.com

Gustav Mahler famously said, "A symphony should be like the world. It must contain everything." As it turns out, most musicians crave the chance to return to Mahler's world-building music. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Julian Kuerti, the music director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, introduces listeners to Das Lied von der Erde, or "The Song of the Earth."


Flickr user Ain't Looking For Nothing. All Creative Commons.

Each year, the Stulberg International String Competition receives applications from hundreds of violinists, violists, cellists and bassists, all age 19 and under. These applications are reviewed and narrowed down to just 12 finalists, who travel from all corners of the continent to perform not only for prizes, but for the experience and the opportunity to meet other top players of their generation. In these interviews, you'll hear nine of the talented young musicians talk about their backgrounds and the music they've prepared to play in front of the public and judges Paul Coletti, Emilio Colón, and Jennifer Frautschi on Saturday, May 18.

Semifinals run on the half-hour between 9 am and 4 pm, and are free to attend. The six finalists chosen from the field of 12 will perform in the Finals Concert at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, after which the awards will be announced. The Stulberg judges teach masterclasses the following day, and are open to the public.