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This has been a stellar year for classical music – and we've collected some of our favourite moments in this gallery of the year
January 2014: Daniel Barenboim conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in their traditional Strauss-fest on New Year's Day. Photo: Getty
January 2014: superstar pianist Lang Lang teams up with Metallica for the most unlikely musical pairing of the year at the Grammys. Picture: Getty
January 2014: Daniel Barenboim conducted a heart-stoppingly moving musical tribute to Claudio Abbado, who died at the end of 2013. The auditorium of La Scala was left empty while the piazza outside was packed with people paying tribute to a musical great.
February 2014: Russian opera star Anna Netrebko performs from a floating gondola inside the Fisht stadium during the closing ceremony of the headline-grabbing Winter Olympics. Photo: Getty
February 2014: Violinist Vanessa Mae surprised the music world by taking part in the Grand Slalom at the Winter Olympics… And then surprised them again by being banned from the sport for four years for allegedly taking part in fixed races to qualify for the competition. Photo: Getty
February 2014: Soprano Renée Fleming became the first classical singer to perform the American national anthem at this year's Super Bowl, an honour that has so far been given to pop divas and country music stars. Photo: Getty
March 2014: This Banksy-style graffiti portrait of Edward Elgar made headlines when it mysteriously appeared in the composer's home town of Malvern. One of the artists behind the portrait said to the Malvern Gazette: "I wanted to do a design that was going to be good for the community - what people would want and what symbolises Malvern. Edward Elgar is just that." Photo: @allaboutmalvern
June 2014: The luthier Antonio Stradivari is best known for making violins, but he also made violas – and this example from 1719 is one of the few still in existence. It went under the hammer this summer, but failed to find a buyer willing to pay the minimum bid of £27m.
April 2014: In April Classic FM brought together some of the biggest names in classical music in a night to remember at the Royal Albert Hall. And, of course, there were fireworks Picture: Richard Johnson
May 2014: the tenor superstar treated Classic FM to a tour round his Italian villa home – we even met his dog
June 2014: This piano turned up out of nowhere underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, and New Yorkers had great fun playing it, taking photos of it and trying to find out where it had come from. A disgruntled pianist? Aliens? Who knows… Photo: Getty
June 2014: Britain's Got Talent made headlines of a different kind this year, when a violinist frustrated with Simon Cowell's impact on the music industry ran on stage and threw eggs at him. And loved every minute of it, to judge by her grin…
June 2014: The Multi-Story Orchestra is a relatively new arrival to the classical music scene, and they are one of the most exciting and ambitious ensembles around – their summer series of concerts in a Peckham car park was a case in point. Standing room only! Picture: Ambra Vernuccio
July 2014: This is one of the most memorable musical images of the year came. A portrait of Schubert appeared on Elie Beach in Fife, crafted by Sand in Your Eye sand sculptors to celebrate East Neuk Festival's 'Schubertiad' . Picture: Colin Hattersley
July 2014: Composer and conductor leads the Eric Whitacre National Youth Choir during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Getty
July 2014: A breathtaking interpretation of Purcell's popular opera, performed to a full house at the Bristol Old Vic. Photo: Andy Squire
August 2014: Tenors Andrea Bocelli and Plácido Domingo take the ice bucket challenge – and it looks like they really enjoyed it.
September 2014: Mark-Anthony Turnage's controversial 2011 opera opened the Royal Opera House's season, starring Eva Maria Westbroek as the Texas girl who reaches stratospheric heights of fame only to dramatically fall from grace. Picture: The Royal Opera / Bill Cooper
September 2014: Violinist Joshua Bell went busking in 2007 and famoulsy only made $52.17… when he busked this September, it's fair to say he got a smidge more attention. Photo: PA
September 2014: Conductor Sir Neville Marriner (pictured here with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Murray Perahia) celebrated his 90th birthday this year – and to crown off the year he was given Gramophone's Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: Mark Allan
October 2014: André Rieu invited Classic FM round to his castle. Here he is with Classic FM's Bill Overton in the dining room of his Maastricht castle. Photo: Lloyd Stas
October 2014: Alfie Boe records his part Classic FM's charity single 'Steadfast' for Global's Make Some Noise
October 2014: Peugeot and Pleyel teamed up to create this stunning piano, and the classical world couldn't get enough of it.
October 2014: Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato performs the American national anthem at the final game of the Major LEague Baseball World Series. Photo: PA
November 2014: School music ensembles from around the country came together for the Music for Youth Schools Proms. Over three days at the Royal Albert Hall audiences were treated to brass bands, choirs and orchestras galore. Picture: Richard Johnson
November 2011: The world marked 100 years since the start World War One this year, and music played a central part in the commemorations across the country. The installation of ceramic poppies, by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, called 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at the Tower of London was a focal point for the country's remembrance. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
November 2014: The final film in The Hobbit trilogy – featuring an epic soundtrack by Howard Shore – premiered in London's Leicester Square. Here's Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Orlando Bloom on the red carpet. Photo: PA