The Colorado Symphony's first Classically Cannabis program featured classical music inside and marijuana smoking outside on the gallery's enclosed patio.

(Photo: CPR / Michael Hughes)

The classical music world generated some truly surprising headlines in 2014.

Renee Fleming brought opera singing to the world’s largest stage when she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Alaskan composer John Luther Adams took home a Pulitzer Prize for “Become Ocean,” a piece commissioned by the Seattle Symphony that sounded huge and tidal.

And the Colorado Symphony broke new ground for the classical world when it programmed a series of marijuana-friendly fundraising concerts that grabbed international attention.

Here’s more on those stories, and other news on the composers, conductors and music that stood out this year:

  • Local classical headlines: The Colorado Symphony partners with Colorado’s marijuana industry, Denver officials question the viability of Boettcher Concert Hall and other important stories from Colorado’s classical scene.
  • National and international stories: It was the year of the stolen Stradivarius, the controversial “Death of Klinghoffer” revival and a tough lockout at the Atlanta Symphony.
  • Notable releases: Exciting recordings that offered fresh takes on classics or showcased living composers at their best.
  • Obituaries: A look at notable figures in the classical world who passed in 2014.

Hear the 2014 retrospective on CPR Classical at 7 p.m. Dec. 26; 7 p.m. Dec. 27; noon Dec. 28; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Jan. 1; and 3 p.m. Jan. 3. Hear it on CPR News at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. 1.