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Brahms: Breaking the Mold Beethoven Built

Conductor Marin Alsop has a deep personal feeling for the music of Johannes Brahms. She says she became musically "alive" as a young girl, listening to Brahms, and now she has recorded all four of his symphonies. She talks with Scott Simon about the struggles Brahms endured to get his very first symphony out of the gate.

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Scott Simon
Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
Marin Alsop
In 2007, Marin Alsop became music director of the Baltimore Symphony, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She was named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive the award. Between performances, she appears as an occasional guest on Weekend Edition Saturday and as a commentator for's Marin Alsop on Music column.