It is obvious throughout his work that Bukowski was a great lover of concert music. There seems to be an ironic contrast between his realsitic depiction of the world he wrote about, the winos, the whores, the horse racing, and the Classical and Romantic music that plays in the backgounds of his narratives. This is a change of pace from the jazz music that apparently provides the soundtrack to the rest of the beat writer's work, but then again, as stated previously, Bukowski is not a true "Beat."
Bukowski preferred to write at night, drink in hand, while listening to the radio, and concert music was a large part of his inspiration. In his body of work he makes almost three hundred references to concert music, mentioning fifty different composers.
Bukowski seems to be most interested in the Romantic composers, especially Mahler and Brahms. It is ironic that Bukowski, in a couple of instances, has written that he was going to listen to the radio in the hope that they might play some Mahler. (Mahler's symphonic works are remarkably long, so actually hearing a complete Mahler symphony on the radio would be a rare event.)