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Orchestral

The orchestra is at the epicentre of classical music expression, consisting of strings, brass, woodwind and percussion sections and ranging from chamber orchestras of 40 players or less, to full, large symphony orchestras of 100 players.

Photo credits: RCO by Simon van Boxtel

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Chamber

Chamber music is named after the palace chamber, in which small groups of instruments once performed for the aristocracy. In the Baroque period, chamber music could be played on any variety of instruments, without each instrumental part precisely specified. This became more standardised in Haydn's time, bringing fourth the staple of chamber music: the string quartet and others that followed.

Photo credits: ARCO Chamber Orchestra

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Solo Instrumental

Solo repertoire - sonatas, concertos, études, preludes, ricercars, partitas and numerous other forms - features musicians with outstanding flair and artistic excellence, whether accompanied by an ensemble or alone in the spotlight.

Photo: Julia Fischer

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Vocal

Vocal music is the oldest form of musical expression. The origins of solo and choral vocal music are found in prehistory - singing in big groups is extremely widespread in most cultures - after all, music-making is part of the human condition.

Photo: Monteverdi Choir

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Opera

Opera combines instrumental music with the dramatic arts in a theatrical setting with diverse paradigms of scope: from solemn opera seria to comical opera buffa, from Peri's Renaissance masterpieces to Strauss's modernism.

Photo: The Marriage of Figaro

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