What introduced you to classical music?

It wasn’t exactly common in my suburban life of pop music and show tunes, except supporting cartoons, “2001,” and Wendy Carlos’ “Switched On Bach,” which got airplay on what were called “alternative” radio stations but which were not, as imagined now, a Morrissey song followed by a song by The Smiths.

THIS is what I was looking for! My other favorite is by Colonel Klink’s dad. Mine is mono but the crescendo involves all the instruments and voices in the known universe. Pure rock.

And where the hell did it go?

Oh, this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfPyTiUi_Uk

Honestly? Probably Tom and Jerry. Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2 and my general love of the Romantic Era in classical music is probably due to that cartoon.

Elementary school orchestra and then junior high, & high school orchestras.

Occasionally in high school we played a pop song. But primarily it was the classics.

It seems to me that if you are exposed at all to commercials or films you will be, perhaps unconsciously, familiar with at least some of the more famous classical pieces. I remember the first classical CD I bought was a compilation of such tunes, aimed at newbies, and the liner notes and accompanying pictures made no bones about the fact that listeners would recognise a tune from this or that commercial or movie. E.g. if the tune were the second movement of Mozart’s clarinet concerto, there’d be a depiction of a scene from Out of Africa.

My parents: my father liked the loud, crashy composers (Beethoven and his ilk), my Mom liked the lighter Baroque. And thank goodness there were two classical radio stations in Phila. back then–none now, I think.

But what really changed my life was a high school class on Art, Music and Architecture. We got season tickets to the Phila. Orchestra, took architectural walking tours of Phila., and of course went to museums. Years later, I tracked down the woman who taught that class and sent her a thank-you note.

My father listened to it.

My mother listened to it while doing housework. Bugs Bunny also had an influence.

I was never much exposed to it as a kid, and what little I heard turned me off. Sometime in my early twenties, I became friends with a much older guy, he was in his early seventies at this point. At first, we mostly talked about folk music, as we met mainly at folk gigs, but after a while he became more insistent that I should at least try listening to classical music.

Knowing I was a fan of metal music, as well as folk, he leant me Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, probably the loudest and most “extreme” piece he liked. It was utterly unlike anything I’d ever heard, and I fell in love with it.

I still have a preference for what Eve aptly describes as the “loud, crashy composers”, but I’ve found a great deal more I like, including some of the stuff I’d heard but dismissed in my youth.

The Disney movie Fantasia, which contained *Night on Bald Mountain *(Mussorgsky), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Dukas), and five other works. It didn’t hurt that the music was conducted by Leopold Stowkowski.

When I was eight or nine years old, my parents bought me a transistor radio for Christmas. Listening to it in the wee hours of the morning, I came across FM-91, the Memphis NPR affiliate, which broadcasts classical music when they’re not doing All Things Considered and such. They were playing Handel’s Messiah. I’d never heard of Handel or that piece, but I was absolutely entranced. i still remember that first time.

I remember having an album of Captain Kangaroo narrating Peter and the Wolf. Also, some cool tapes of biographies of six or so composers, supported with snippits of their works, that I listened to a lot.

What really got me actively interested in classical music, as opposed to just hearing it incidentally on TV and so on, was the electrified adaptations done by the progressive rock bands of the late '60s/early '70s. Things like ELP’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” the Nice’s “Intermezzo from the Karelia Suite” and “Pathétique/Third Movement,” Jethro Tull’s “Bouree,” and Yes’s “Cans and Brahms” made me want to hear the original versions, and I quickly became seriously enthusiastic for the real thing.

Children’s story records. We had oodles of them as a kid, and most used classical music. There were even a few that were “classical” stories: The Nutcracker, for instance, used Tchaikovsky’s suite, Peter and the Wolf was Prokofiev, of course, and William Tell used the William Tell overture. Robin Hood used, I think, Mendelssohn.

I miss them.

My grandfather was a classical music buff* and supporter of classical music in the area, so I went to concerts as a kid. Didn’t really appreciate them until I started going to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in my 20s.

*He once played violin with Albert Einstein.

In elementary school we had an assembly where there was a performance of Beethoven compositions. It really sparked something in me but it was dormant for many years. I totally recall that moment moving me in some way that I really can’t explain. In my high school years I discovered the genius of Stanley Kubrick and became totally fascinated with the soundtracks to 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. Then I really got into classical music. I now listen to Classical Masterpieces on Music Choice whenever I’m reading anything because it make for great background music. Sometimes I use Grooveshark and put it on the Classical station. I also like to put on Classic Arts Showcase when it’s on but my local cable provider usually only airs it late at night.

The Swingle Singers did sorta jazzy vocal versions of J. S. Bach’s music. I really liked that, and after a while I heard the original instrumentation. It took a couple of years to broaden my view past the Baroque guys.

My father listened to classical music (I still have his 78s). Then, when I played in the school orchestra, most of what we played was classical. Then, in college, the Student Union building had a “Music Lounge,” which played requested classical music (I think anything vocal was Friday nights only). And Ayn Rand got me listening to the Romantic period, especially Rachmaninoff and operettas.