Larisa Birta on Unsplash, Apple, composition: Gabriel Yoran

Learn to Love Classical Music Today

It has never been so exciting, easy, and cheap to find your way into classical music — thanks to your your smartphone, music streaming, and a trick that changed my understanding of music forever

Gabriel Yoran
24 min readMay 26, 2019


Seven years of piano lessons, two parents playing in a professional orchestra, and yet classical music didn’t interest me for a long time. Then, everything changed, thanks to technology. I want to share with you how I (re)discovered classical music – and how you can do it, too.

When I was nine, my parents came home unusually late from work for months. They were completely exhausted each time and groaned: “Mahler!” That had to be something really bad, I thought to myself, “Mahler.”

My parents were professional musicians in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. My mother is a harpist, my father a cellist. And when I was nine, the orchestra recorded all ten symphonies of the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler on CD. Such a project takes months, maybe years, and that really takes it of you.

Although I come from a family of musicians, only later in my life I found that classical music is also for me. I know what it’s like not to understand this music. After seven years of reluctantly taking piano lessons, my parents gave up in a resentful way: you don’t have to go to class anymore, they said. But if you stop now, you will regret it. I was fourteen. Of course I quit, and of course I regretted it.

“If you stop now, you will regret it.” I was fourteen. Of course I quit, and of course I regretted it.

Because today, discovering classical music, especially beyond the big names, is one of my hobbies: I have been recommending more or less unknown pieces on Twitter for years, and after I didn’t get any reaction to it for years, this changed abruptly last summer. Several people asked me for playlists that would give them an introduction to classical music.

I am not a music educator, but due to my early contact with the classical world I have no fear of concert halls and opus numbers. At the same time, however, I know how annoying it can be to…