We’re as tired of corporate rainbow-washing as the next gay, but VAN has—at heart—always been a queer classical music magazine. In honor of that, we’ve collected some of our favorite pieces with queer classical music icons, the next generation of LGBTQIA+ artists, the hidden and at times downright bizarre stories that sit at the intersection of gay history and music history, and much more.

If you want to support VAN’s independent classical music journalism, we’re also offering 20% off of annual subscriptions now through June 30. Sign up here!

Editors’ picks

Pride month special: 20% off a year of VAN

Get new stories like this, delivered…um…“straight” to your inbox—and enjoy unlimited access our archive of over 600 articles. Now 20% off through June 30!

Queer classical icons

“I didn’t know what gay was at that age. To me it was not immediately obvious. What’s really fascinating is, when I was probably at least 19 or 20, when I finally told my mother that maybe I was gay, she laughed at me and said, ‘Do you think I’m an idiot? I’ve known since you were five years old!’”

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Listen out for…


“After my coming out [as trans], my plan was to appear fully dressed for the concert and unpack my violin in the instrument storage room. But that’s not how it happened. My female colleagues had discussed it and said, “You can change here with us. No problem.” They were really nice about it. Most of the musicians now have only ever known me like this.”

Daniela Huber

Histories and mysteries