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It may have taken 90-odd years, but classical music has finally gotten its cool back. A new wave of musicians are incorporating indie-rock and electronic elements into it and playing at hip venues

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Photograph courtesy of FatCat Records

It may have taken 90-odd years, but classical music has finally gotten its cool back. A new wave of musicians are incorporating indie-rock and electronic elements into it and playing at hip venues like The Triple Door in Seattle and Revolution Café in San Francisco. Some Converse-wearing fans may mistake it for chamber pop, but that’s not a bad thing. “It’s not a great leap from Sigur Rós or the Flaming Lips to classical,” says David Handler, co-owner of the experimental New York venue (Le) Poisson Rouge. “And the musicians hustle like rock bands to reach a broader audience.” Here are some of the new talents who don’t mind if you shout out requests. Matt Hendrickson

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JULIA KENT

Nationality: Canadian

Essential album: Delay

Kent, a former cellist for the Brooklyn band Rasputina, performs with the cabaret ensemble Antony and the Johnsons, but her minimalist solo compositions are not to be missed.

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LARS HORNTVETH

Nationality: Norwegian

Essential album: Kaleidoscopic

Horntveth is best known as the bandleader of Jaga Jazzist, but his solo work—he plays piano, guitar, sax, and clarinet—is hip enough for Oslo’s indie label Smalltown Supersound.

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NICO MUHLY

Nationality: American

Essential album: Mothertongue

A protégé of Philip Glass, the Vermont-born composer deftly moves from English choral arrangements to violin concerti to art-installation-worthy avant-garde music videos on YouTube.

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HAUSCHKA

Nationality: German

Essential album: Room to Expand

A rapper turned pianist, Hauschka (a.k.a. Volker Bertelmann) gets inside the instrument—literally—often placing leather or aluminum foil on the strings and hammers for a haunting effect.

Origin: details.com