Jennifer Hambrick

Classical Midday Announcer

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media, and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the recipient of both the Eastman School’s prestigious Performer’s Certificate and a Fulbright grant for advanced study in London, England.

As a writer and radio producer, Jennifer has interviewed some of the world’s most fascinating people, including Nobel Peace Prize-winning authors, Wolfe Prize-winning mathematicians and many of the world’s foremost classical musicians. Her feature writing has appeared in numerous publications across the country, as well as on WOSU Radio and wosu.org, and has garnered national awards. An award-winning poet, Jennifer’s poetry has also been honored with nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Ohioana Book Award.

Jennifer enjoys seeking out adventures in good food and healthy living, digging deep in her garden and savoring good times with family.

Ways to Connect

color photo of local composer Richard Jordan Smoot sitting at the piano
Joy Kollmer / richardsmoot.com

It’s always exciting when a project comes to fruition. And when that project has both local and international ties, it becomes especially cool.

This week The American Sound is proud to feature Seize the Day, the brand-new album of music by Columbus composer Richard Jordan Smoot, with performances by the Carpe Diem String Quartet, international clarinet soloist Richard Stoltzman and other artists.

color photo of musicians playing their instruments on the balconies on an apartment building, in the Place d'Aligre, Paris
Christophe Gay / Montage Jasmine Lebert / Lieux Publics

Usually audience members sit in the balcony seats at an orchestra concert. But a recent performance by the Paris Chamber Orchestra turned all that on its head.

Flickr

Good news: The London Symphony Orchestra is on track to get a new world-class concert hall.

Gramophone magazine announced yesterday that the shortlist of architects who have been asked to submit designs for London’s proposed Centre for Music has been revealed.

YouTube

Orchestra concerts now have light shows, video displays and, in some places, food and drink to enjoy during the music.

So, sure — why not dogs, too?

color photo of an open dictionary on a podium in a reading room
Flickr

Like any endeavor, classical music has its own specialized language. But unlike many endeavors, the lingo of classical music comes from many different European languages, each with its own special sounds and sensibilities.

Some of the many colorful musical expressions have made their way out of the practice room, the concert hall and the opera house and into common usage in English. Others, while no less amusing, remain rooted in music-speak.

Ever primed for a good linguistic romp, I wanted to share some of these terms with you — just for kicks.

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco / rachelbartonpine.com

The finger-blistering virtuosity of the music of early 19th-century violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini is so astonishing that when Paganini performed it, the rumor mill creaked of Faustian bargains. Today, one violinist aims to show the lyrical side of Paganini’s music in a brand-new recording that moves the soul as much as it amazes the senses.

An eagle bone whistle. A sacred rattle. A singing turtle. A “love flute.”

These are just a few of the ancient Native American instruments showcased in Anthem for the Ancestors, a new work for string quartet, Native American instruments, narrator and multimedia visual effects composed by Carpe Diem String Quartet violinist Charles Wetherbee and Native American performer and composer Leon Joseph Littlebird.

color photo of a banquet scene form the opera JFK by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek
Marty Sohl / Fort Worth Opera

It would be difficult to name an individual who occupies a more exalted place in the American collective memory than John F. Kennedy. The former U.S. president has been idolized as an American war hero, a pedigreed New Englander, a dashing family man and an architect of progressive social ideals.

But instead of holding to this larger-than-life image of Kennedy, David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, composer and librettist, respectively, for their opera JFK, wanted to portray the human side of Jack and Jackie.

black-and-white photo of President John F. Kennedy
White House Press Office / Wikimedia Commons

Like many Americans who were alive on Nov. 22, 1963, noted historian Michael J. Hogan remembers vividly the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

color photo of Vireo performers in Alcatraz cell block
David Soderland / operavireo.org

It’s an opera about a woman imprisoned by psychological demons. It was filmed at Alcatraz. And, if all that isn't cool enough, later this month you’ll be able to watch it in 15-minute episodes on your mobile device, computer or TV.

requiemformymother.com

Veteran Hollywood composer Stephen Edwards has seen a lot of drama, death and destruction on the silver screen but, until his mother passed away, he had experienced very little of it in his own life.

“I was kind of left not knowing what to do with myself,” Edwards said in a recent phone interview. "It was a feeling of helplessness, like I couldn’t do anything to bring her back, and I couldn’t do anything to help her."

color photo of Jeannette Sorrell leading Apollo's Fire from the harpsichord
apollosfire.org

Jeannette Sorrell, founder and artistic director of the Cleveland-based period-instrument orchestra Apollo's Fire, is one of the world's foremost conductors and interpreters of baroque music. But she's also much more than that.

"I am an entrepreneur as an artist," Sorrell said in a phone interview. "I think Mozart and Handel were also entrepreneurs, and that’s OK. It forces you to make sure that your artistic work is accessible to the public and will draw an audience."

Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire are making available their performance of Bach’s St. John Passion for you to enjoy Good Friday evening, 7 p.m. April 14 on Classical 101.

color photo of David Thomas playing his clarinet
David Thomas

Wednesday evening, two of Columbus’ own will perform the world premiere of 10 new musical masterpieces—and Columbus gets to see and hear it first.

In a concert called “Jeanjean on the Rocks,” David Thomas, principal clarinetist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and pianist Mariko Kaneda will play 10 of French composer Paul Jeanjean’s 18 Études de Perfectionnement (1927) for clarinet with brand-new piano accompaniments commissioned by Thomas and composed by Philadelphia-based composer Joseph Hallman.

color photo of the members of Monarch Brass standing outdoors and holding their instruments
Jan Duga / myiwbc.org

“The monarch butterfly is fragile and yet can fly 2,000 miles to get from point A to point B,” said Susan Slaughter, former principal trumpeter with the St. Louis Symphony, in a recent phone interview. “It’s beautiful to look at, and the sound that we want to make is a beautiful sound.”

As the first woman ever appointed principal trumpet in a major American orchestra, Slaughter knows all too well how far point A can be from point B for many aspiring professional women brass musicians. She founded the International Women’s Brass Conference and Monarch Brass to help women brass instrumentalists on their sometimes treacherous journeys in the profession.

color photo of the members of Genghis Barbie with their horns
Spencer Lloyd / genghisbarbie.com

It’s 2009, and the Great Recession is draining bank accounts and devouring dreams everywhere. In New York City, four freelance French horn players suddenly find themselves out of work and wondering what to do next.

“It kind of came to me in this random moment—I was like, ‘Oh, my God, we have to have a horn quartet with these four people and play pop music.’” 

color photo of the feet of the members of Stiletto Brass - all in red high-heeled shoes
stilettobrass.com

"I think there are some assumptions about the ability of a female brass player versus a male brass player," said Stiletto Brass Quintet hornist Misty Tolle, in a recent phone interview, "and that when you walk in as a woman, part of what you walk in with is this knowledge that you have to be that much better than the person that you’re competing against if they are a man."

Assumptions like this one are what the all-female Stiletto Brass Quintet is helping to dispel by simply existing—by being a professional women’s brass ensemble that reaches school-age and adult audiences with music ranging from classical to jazz and beyond.

color photo of the members of Seraph Brass dressed up and sitting with their instruments on a sofa
seraphbrass.com

“How cool would it be to have an all-female brass group that’s touring? And imagine young musicians seeing that on the stage.”

That’s the question that inspired trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden to start the all-women’s brass ensemble Seraph Brass.

the four members of the Doric String Quartet with a red background
doricstringquartet.com

They’ve taken the world by storm. This weekend, they’re coming to Columbus. Be here when it happens.

The London-based Doric String Quartet is recognized as one of the finest quartets in the world. Join me at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at the Southern Theatre for a live, face-to-face interview with the members of the Doric String Quartet, right before the group’s 8 p.m. concert for the Chamber Music Columbus series.

Classical 101 went to the picture shows Thursday morning with brand-new music written by a Central Ohio composer for a classic Charlie Chaplin film.

color photo of the flutist, cellist and violinist of Infusion Baroque playing thier instruments
WOSU Public Media

The award-winning, Montreal-based early music ensemble Infusion Baroque performed live in the Classical 101 studio this morning, and we captured the performance—and the dish about composers doing things they shouldn’t do—on video.

color photo of the four musicians of Infusion Baroque wearing black gowns and holding violins and recorders
Elizabeth Delage / infusionbaroque.com

It’s one thing to give elegant, award-winning performances of music composed by Baroque-era composers who were, as my Kentucky grandmother used to say, no better than they oughta be. It’s quite another thing to serve up the dirt about the composers, too.

Friday morning at 11, get the scuttlebutt on Sebastian Bach and hear all the jabber about Jean-Marie Leclair live on Classical 101 and on Classical 101’s Facebook page (we'll have a Facebook Live video so you can watch as you listen along). Montreal-based Infusion Baroque will be in our studios the day of the ensemble's debut album release to perform a preview of “Rebels and Rivalries,” a program of sublime music and all the news about some Baroque composers that's not fit to print.

black-and-white still photo of Charlie Chaplin as the Little Tramp and sitting on a snowy landscape in The Gold Rush
Flickr

There might not be a lot of chatter in Charlie Chaplin’s films, but there’s certainly a lot of chatter about them—at least in this neck of the woods. Thursday morning, some of that Chaplin chatter will be on Classical 101. 

Liberace with candelabras
Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

As the saying goes, laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.

And — hello? — who wants to cry alone?

Kaupo Kikkas / Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

The Baltic nation of Estonia is home to one of the world’s most esteemed choral traditions, rich with gigantic choral festivals and some of the finest professional choirs around, and inextricably linked with Estonia’s political history.

One of the crown jewels among Estonia’s choral treasures is the multi-Grammy Award-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. This Saturday, Feb. 4, Columbus music lovers will have a chance to hear the choir sing and its artistic director talk about the choir’s work within Estonia’s fascinating choral music tradition.

colorphoto of Benedict Cumberbatch and James Rhodes sitting at a grand piano
from YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm4OKds30k8

A couple of years ago, The New Yorker published a cartoon by Joe Dator that truly catches the spirit of our times.

In the single panel, a pregnant woman undergoing an ultrasound exam looks befuddledly at a face on the ultrasound monitor screen. The mouth of the woman giving the exam is slightly open, as though in mid-speech. The cartoon’s caption reads, “Oh, don’t worry. That’s Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s in everything.” View the cartoon here.

Some of the traditional Chinese musical instruments on display in the Legacy of Imperial Beijing: The Bliss M. and Mildred A. Wiant Collection of Chinese Art exhibition at OSU's Urban Arts Space.
CHRISTINA MATHISON / OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Behind every great piano and every great pianist is a technician on whom everything depends. For most of the last half century in Columbus, that piano technician has been Ben Wiant.

Two recent events — one musical, the other related to the world of Chinese art — have brought Wiant out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight.

color photograph of Worthington's Tröndlin fortepiano
Robert Murphy

A rare fortepiano from the age of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann returns to its Worthington home Saturday with a five-figure makeover and as star of its own show at Worthington’s historic Orange Johnson House.

Reportedly one of only three extant fortepianos in the United States made by the 19th-century Leipzig-based piano builder Johann Tröndlin, the instrument returns to Worthington after an extensive two-year restoration by Oberlin conservatory piano technician and early piano restorer Robert Murphy.

color photo of severl yellow metal ballot boxes stacked on top of each other
Keith Bacongco/Creative Commons/Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kitoy/1597912606/in/photolist-3rcHKm-5ziqP6-rP2gM-5uxGEu-5x1T6X-5zuKiW-7dcgvZ-rMpQF-fLia6J-j6dUHb-cCyNDb-5A4jmj-CwtyM-rRgtw-rMpRX-9oXneQ-5VmNpy-zHqerj-5urX6M-5mhUsr-8QbzPP-4mmorw-5utjB6-5wo7eE-5zKnjG-6DxhSz-rP21c-bpfGP4-dfdR-

You’ve read the headlines, heard the great radio news reports on WOSU 89.7 NPR News, watched the debates (don’t remind me) and, having seen and heard enough about Election 2016, you’ve cast your vote.

So, what will you do with your Tuesday evening, now that all is said and done for another four years? 

color headshot of Jordan Dodson
publicity photo / http://www.columbusguitarsociety.org/Welcome.html

It’s been almost three years since guitar virtuoso and Grove City native Jordan Dodson first performed on Classical 101.

color photo taken from behind the musicians of the Dublin Win Symphony during a rehearsal
Erica Wood / Dublin Wind Symphony

Ask composer Dr. Nicole Piunno how she would describe her new work Eternity in an Hour, and one particular word comes up again and again: joy.

“There’s a lot of joy in the piece,” Piunno said in a recent phone interview. “It starts with joy and it ends with joy.”

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