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Expand your musical horizons with viola player Nadia Sirota

Viola player Nadia Sirota opens up a colourful selection of classical music from the inside - revealing familiar and unfamiliar works in a new light.

Nadia Sirota is a viola player who specialises in contemporary classical music, so in this episode of Inside Music, Nadia’s wide listening tastes mean Mozart, Bach and Brahms sit happily alongside Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw and Luciano Berio.

Nadia also talks about how the music of Igor Stravinsky influenced American singer-songwriter Sam Amidon, reveals some unusual lyrics to accompany Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and discusses how multi-tracking her viola with a viola da gamba produces beautiful and crystalline consort music.

At 2 o’clock Nadia chooses a piece of music she describes as being from another planet. “The first time I heard it my jaw was on the floor,” she says. See where yours ends up when you hear this Must Listen moment.

A series in which each week a musician reveals a selection of music - from the inside.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

1 hour, 56 minutes

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Goldberg Variations, variation 29 - end

    Ensemble: Sax Allemande.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Sonata in E flat for Viola - first movement

    Performer: Kim Kashkashian. Performer: Robert Levin.
    • ECM.
  • Nico Muhly

    Beaming Music

    Performer: Chris Thompson. Performer: Jamie McVinnie.
  • Sam Amidon


    Performer: Sam Amidon. Music Arranger: Nico Muhly.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Firebird Suite - Lullaby and Finale

    Orchestra: Budapest Festival Orchestra. Conductor: Iván Fischer.
  • Donnacha Dennehy

    That The Night Come: Her Anxiety

    Singer: Dawn Upshaw. Ensemble: Crash Ensemble. Conductor: Alan Pierson.
  • Hector Berlioz

    Symphonie Fantastique - March to the Scaffold

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Colin Davies.
    • LSO Live.
  • Luciano Berio

    Sinfonia - movement 3

    Ensemble: New Swingle Singers. Orchestra: Orchestre national de France. Conductor: Pierre Boulez.
    • ERATO.
  • Hildegard von Bingen

    O ignis spiritus paracliti

    Ensemble: A Far Cry.
  • Olivier Messiaen

    La Nativite du Seigneur - Les Anges

    Performer: Timothy Byram-Wigfield.
  • Caroline Shaw

    Partita for 8 Voices 1. Allemande

    Ensemble: Roomful of Teeth. Director: Brad Wells.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Quartet in G minor K.478 - Allegro

    Performer: Emanuel Ax. Performer: Isaac Stern. Performer: Jaime Laredo. Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma.
    • SONY.
  • Nico Muhly

    Viola Concerto Part 1

    Performer: Nadia Sirota. Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Alan Pierson.
  • Donnacha Dennehy

    Tessellatum - Letter D

    Performer: Nadia Sirota. Performer: Liam Byrne.


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