Classical Music with Boyce Lancaster

Weekdays 6-10am and Saturdays 8am-1pm

Wake up with Boyce Lancaster! Every weekday from 6-10 am.

Red and blue photo of violinists Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

You probably have a friend like this: No matter how long it's been since you've gotten together last, you just pick up where you left off. It's as though you were never separated.

That is the scene as Vadim Gluzman, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's creative partner and principal guest artist, and Philippe Quint, his close friend and ProMusica's Soirée guest, walk into the Classical 101 studios earlier this week.

Joanne by Lady Gaga album art

With the upcoming Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 and the 59th annual Grammy Awards the following weekend, it seems a good time to discuss music.


There are many tried-and-true music jokes. I will not tell any viola jokes, because they get picked on all the time. Ditto for the bassoons. How about this one?

How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb?

Here in Central Ohio, we are fortunate to hear the Mighty Morton theater organ on a regular basis. Clark Wilson is the current resident organist at the Ohio Theatre, where the organ has lived since the theater opened in 1928.

"Dance as though no one is watching" is a familiar encouragement to lower your inhibitions and let the music move you. But what if you can't even take two steps without tumbling to the ground?

Such was the case for Sarah Hansen, who, because of a progressive neurological disease, could barely put one foot in front of the other without support.

Exciting, young violinist Alexandra Conunova makes her U.S. debut this weekend in her only scheduled 2017 engagement in this country, performing Jean Sibelius' Violin Concerto in d with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

Every January, when I take down the holiday decorations that adorn my apartment walls, I’m always struck by how abruptly empty my home feels in comparison. A similar feeling comes when I look at my calendar, which seems to shift from endless holiday parties and seasonal social engagements to not much of anything overnight.

When British art critic and prize-winning author John Berger died Jan. 3 at the age of 90, it was something of the end of an era. Journalist Ian Maleney wrote in The Irish Times of Berger's passing, saying:

Marco Borggreve

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra closed out the 2015-2016 season with two of classical music's greatest masterpieces...Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, also known as simply, The Great.

Cellist Joshua Roman with Classical 101's Boyce Lancaster
Nick Houser / WOSU

Cellist Joshua Roman is no stranger to Columbus audiences. On this trip, however, you'll get to know him a little better. Rather than interpreting music written by others, he unveils his own composition.

Ricardo Morales / Twitter

For all of us who (attempted to) play the clarinet, there is nothing more enjoyable than spending time with someone who really can play the clarinet. I wasn't bad, but let's face it - I am in radio for a reason.

Welsh soprano Gwawr Edwards, right, in the Classical 101 studio with morning host Boyce Lancaster on Sept. 3, 2015.
Nick Houser / WOSU

If your only connection to the culture of Wales is Bryn Terfel and  Tom Jones, you have a wonderful opportunity to find out more about it this weekend.  The North American Festival of Wales is in session for a 3-day run Thursday-Saturday in Columbus.  Calan opens the program Thursday evening.

There was a time in the United States when life moved a little slower, summer evenings lasted a little longer, and the local park was the place to be each week for an outdoor concert. 

David Danzmayr and Vadim Gluzman
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

In years past, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra closed it's season with a gala concert.  This season, ProMusica's Soiree was moved to February, but that doesn't mean they're not closing the season with a gala concert.

Wikimedia Commons

Classical music gets a bad rap because people in the audience are expected to sit and listen to the performance.  Over the years, a few have managed to create this stuffy, stodgy aura about attending a concert that makes those who might give a performance a try shy away, thinking they have to wear fancy clothes, know the music inside out, and avoid clapping in the wrong spot.

Song in the City

Apr 23, 2015
Queensboro Bridge at night
Steveen Manon / Flickr

Years ago, before iPods, Pads and Phones, there was a young man I saw on a regular basis who walked at a rapid pace all over Columbus with a boombox on his shoulder singing along with whatever was the tune du jour.  

His vocalizations were punctuated by appropriately-timed fist punches, along with air drums and cymbals.  He eventually graduated to a personal stereo, which meant he could play his air drums with both hands and not risk a rotator cuff injury from holding the giant sound system.

Laura Tear Artist Management

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra has a great weekend of music lined up as they welcome renowned British composer and pianist Huw Watkins to the Southern Theatre stage.  ProMusica will open the concerts with the U.S. premiere of Watkins' Little Symphony.  He then changes into his pianist hat and plays the Piano Concerto No.2 by Dmitri Shostakovich, a fun, invigorating piece. ProMusica then continues their Schubert cycle with his Symphony No. 4.

Andrew Garn / Columbia Artists Management

As most have heard, Valentina Lisitsa was "uninvited" from performing Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto with the Toronto Symphony after a number of controversial tweets regarding the situation between Russia and the Ukraine.  

I will not go into detail here, as it has been widely written about and discussed.  My colleague Christopher Purdy has a thorough look at the subject here.

Jon Bream records
Nate Ryan Digital Producer, Multimedia, Minnesota Public Radio

If you're a parent, you have, or one day will, experience watching your child leave home.  Some several times.  It is most often with mixed emotion we watch them leave.  One minute they're having a first birthday, then off to school, prom, college, then off to live their own life.

What if you had to do that 25,000 times?  Then, you would be Jon Bream.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Marco Borggreve

Benjamin Franklin famously said that, "Fish and visitors stink after three days." That is certainly true about fish - and it depends upon the guest. What about conductors, however? How long should an orchestra expect, or want, a conductor to stay?

 Jason Vieaux on a rooftop with a guitar
GMD Three

Now, before you start drawing up protest signs because your favorite ensemble plays too much Johann Strauss or not enough Stockhausen, let me clarify.

Mezzo-forte's carbon fiber violin

For nearly 35 years, the Deutschen Musikinstrumentenpreis (German Music Instrument Awards) has recognized excellence in the building of contemporary instruments in Germany. For the first time, a violin made from a synthetic material has bested wooden violins in the competition. It was manufactured by mezzo-forte, a German company which first began making carbon fiber bows before venturing into making instruments in 2009.

The Recycled Instrument Orchestra
The Recycled Instrument Orchestra

Most of us have been there. ”We’re looking for someone with more experience.” ”Come talk to us after you get a little more experience.” ”How much experience do you have?” You can’t a job without experience, nor experience without a job. It’s the ultimate catch 22.

Wait…there IS a way. How about an internship? You know…long hours, low pay, or NO pay. However, you’ll get experience.

Been there, done that, got the – err – experience.

Colin Currie
Marco Borggreve

“I don’t want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day.” This was the sentiment expressed by Todd Rundgren some years back. For Colin Currie, he also wants to bang on the drum all day…and the marimba, cymbals, bells, and whatever else he can find. Such is the life now for a percussion soloist.

In a symphony orchestra, kettledrums were about it for ages. Not so anymore. With artists like Evelyn Glennie and Colin Currie around, percussion performance has taken on a whole new dimension.

The cast of BalletMet's Cinderella
BalletMet Columbus

BalletMet Artistic Director Edwaard Liang was with Boyce Lancaster on Classical 101 on Thursday to talk about the new BalletMet production of Cinderella, set to Prokofiev’s music.

Jennifer Zmuda

BalletMet Artistic Director Edwaard Liang will join Boyce Lancaster on Classical 101 this Thursday at 9:00am to talk about the new BalletMet production of Cinderella, set to Prokofiev’s music.

Sir Simon Rattle
Jim Rakete

When Simon Rattle received the Artist of the Year prize at the Gramophone Awards some years ago, that is what he said. “Passionate musicians only come from passionate five-year-olds”.

Rattle was recently appointed Chief Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. The reaction was immediate and adamant. The Guardian said, “It is the best possible piece of news that music-making of all kinds in Britain could have had.”

Christopher Purdy recently answered the question, “Who is this Guy Figaro, Anyway?”  Well, I recently had the opportunity to speak with Figaro and wanted to share the conversation with you.

John Williams conducting at Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Since the recent court decision that Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams too closely resembled Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song Got to Give It Up, I had been curious to hear them side by side.

I will not get into a debate of the merits, or lack thereof, of each side’s argument, other than to say that the “groove” in Blurred Lines is awfully similar.

Calidore String Quartet
Courtsey of the artist

The Calidore String Quartet will be in the Classical 101 studios to talk with Boyce Lancaster this morning at 9am.

They are part of a weekend series of performances in cooperation with Chamber Music Connection and Sunday at Central.

Calidore String Quartet and the CMC Conservatory Chamber Orchestra will perform Saturday February 7, at 3:pm at the Columbus Mennonite Church.