Classical Music with John Rittmeyer

Weekdays 2-6 p.m. on Classical 101

John Rittmeyer will ease you through the afternoon and evening from 3 to 7 pm.

Beethoven monument in Bonn, Germany
Axel Kirch / Wikimedia Commons

It was quite a profound transition for a young Ludwig van Beethoven to go from being a celebrated virtuoso pianist not long after he arrived in Vienna from Bonn, Germany, in 1792, to feeling increasingly socially isolated by the hearing loss that would ultimately end his career as a pianist — but thankfully for us all, not as a composer.

Dashon Burton / carolineshaw.com

This Friday or Saturday evening, you can hear Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony at the Southern Theatre, performed by the Columbus Symphony and conducted by Rossen Milanov, and then take a guided nature walk on Sunday afternoon.

Violinist and composer Caroline Shaw, whose composition Lo will also be performed at the concerts, will lead the Beethoven-inspired nature walk beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, just south of downtown Columbus.

Julius Schmid / Wikimedia Commons

This fall on Symphony @ 7, Thursday evenings on Classical 101, I'm presenting all nine Beethoven symphonies (one each week), culminating with the Choral Symphony at the end of November.

To round out the hour, I'm also featuring some of Beethoven's contemporaries — composers who were relevant to Beethoven and his music: Ignaz Pleyel, Muzio Clementi, Johann Hummel, Luigi Cherubini and, of course, Haydn and Mozart.

Lucasfilm / The Walt Disney Studios

Star Wars: A New Hope, the 1977 George Lucas film that began a whole new era of outer space swashbucklers, will be shown Friday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Ohio Theatre. There's nothing necessarily unusual about the screening in itself, since Star Wars is a bona fide classic. What is perhaps not so common is that the Columbus Symphony will perform the film score live along with the movie.

Robert Markowitz / NASA

Julie Payette, a former member of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir who became an astronaut, is now the next Governor General of Canada. The Governor General of Canada is a largely ceremonial position, but an important one as the representative of the Queen in Canada.

Universal Pictures

With The Vietnam War documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick set to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 on WOSU-TV, I thought I'd conclude my three-part music-related reflections of that era by briefly presenting some of the most striking examples of the use of classical music in Hollywood films about the Vietnam War.

USASOC News Service / Wikimedia Commons

Classical music didn't see the same surge in new compositions responding to the Vietnam War that was reflected in popular music of the time. But in honor of this weekend's premiere of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's The Vietnam War (8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 on WOSU-TV), I decided to explore some of the era's lesser-known classical works informed by the turbulence of wartime.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's new PBS documentary series The Vietnam War premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 on WOSU-TV.

I got to thinking about some of the music from that era relating to the conflict. I didn't find as much classical music as I had hoped, but I was immediately struck by how much popular music was related to the Vietnam War.

black and white photo of Elisa Citterio with violin
Monica Cordiviola / Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

The highly regarded period-instrument ensemble Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra has a new music director. Elisa Citterio has stepped into the position formerly held by Jeanne Lamon since 1981.

Itzhak Perlman Facebook page

Itzhak Perlman celebrates his 71st birthday this week.

Since appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 when he was 13, Perlman has become the world's best-known violinist. Like Yehudi Menuhin or Jascha Heifetz earlier in the 20th century, Perlman's name became synonymous with excellence on the violin.

Pages