Some of us fear that classical music is dying a slow death. Perhaps not if folks like Teddy Abrams have something to say about it. In a recent NPR Tiny Desk performance, Abrams demonstrates a different approach.

If we’re relying on the younger generation to help boost interest in classical music, look no further than Teddy Abrams. The 28-year-old pianist, clarinetist, conductor and composer has just begun his second season as music director of the Louisville Orchestra and he’s brimming with ideas on what to do with Bach, Beethoven and music made today.

In particular, Abrams mixes “new” music with the old.

Abrams doesn’t treat composers like museum exhibits to be handled with white gloves. For this Tiny Desk performance, Adams decided to begin the opening movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 30 with a short improvisation, noting that the great composer was known for riffing at the piano for hours on end.

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