Classical 101

Classical 101 is the only classical music station in Central Ohio. The Classical 101 hosts provide insight into classical music news from Columbus and around the world. 

We also present a series of podcasts as well as archived audio from musicians who perform live in our studio

Prague, Czech Republic
Pixabay

Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro wasn't quite the great success he hoped it would be when it premiered in Vienna in May 1786, but when it was performed in Prague in December of that year it was a big hit.

When he was invited to that city the following January, Mozart not only enjoyed experiencing the appreciation of audiences there, he also brought along a new symphony he thought they might enjoy.  It came to be called the Prague Symphony.  And enjoy it, they did. 

color photo of Eric Whitacre leading his Live Virtual Choir
ericwhitacre.com

"In 1991, I had maybe the most profound and transformative experience in my life."

That’s how Eric Whitacre began his February 2013 TED Talk about how his choral work Cloudburst and his history-making Virtual Choir project came about.

Wikimedia Commons

Harvey Sachs wrote his first biography of Arturo Toscanini in 1978. Nearly 40 years later, he's published a completely new book about the conductor, "Toscanini: Musician of Conscience."

At over 900 pages, this is a fabulous read. The maestros' life and Sachs' skill telling the story make an unbeatable combination. You won't be bored.

color photo of people sitting in a dark movie theater watching a bright white blank screen
Kenneth Lu / Flickr

Ah, the summer blockbuster. It’s a great American tradition—all those stars, all that action, all that popcorn.

But why deal with larger-than-life price tags and sticky movie-theater floors when you can stay home and take your ears to the movies on The American Sound?  

Rainy Day Instruments / Etsy

Classical 101's musical instrument drive, Replay!, continues until 4 p.m. Friday. It's designed to get musical instruments into the hands of young people in Columbus by collecting donations of instruments no longer needed or being used. The response has been fantastic, so thank you and keep them coming.

With all the great stories of first experiences with music and musical instruments we've heard this week, I tried to recollect my first memories of music. Up until then, I had pretty much forgotten about what actually must have been my first musical instrument—a Mickey Mouse guitar!

Robb McCormick Photography / COSI

By Frederic Bertley, CEO of Columbus' Center of Science and Industry (COSI), in support of Replay!, Classical 101's instrument drive

My parents really tried to impart a love of music to me.

I was the last of four kids, and all of my siblings played a musical instrument. I had just turned 6 years old, and it was my turn. My parents put me in piano lessons.

I still remember an almost off-hand comment made by an Austin, Texas, musician. She had stopped to drop off a banjo for a musical instrument drive I was spearheading at another station a few years back. As she was filling out the donation form, she said, to no one in particular, "Music saved my life."

Replay: FAQs About Classical 101's Instrument Drive

Jul 28, 2017

If a musical instrument gathers dust in an attic and no one plays it, is it still musical?

Classical 101 is collecting musical instruments for kids in Columbus school music programs. Music not only enriches lives, research also shows that children who study music perform better academically.

Wikimedia Commons

Proposals to cut funding for the arts pop up in seemingly every federal budget discussion. A recent proposal suggested eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities completely.

Much to the relief of many, the House appropriations committee last week approved a bill to provide $145 million for each endowment in the 2018 budget. It's a slight reduction ($5 million each) but manageable, given the proposed alternative.

Takeshi Kuboki / Flickr

If you have siblings, you know all about hand-me-downs.

Some younger siblings get hand-me-own clothes — I got a hand-me-down violin.

Stephen Pariser / Columbus Symphony Orchestra

The indefatigable Orlay Alonso, everyone's favorite Columbus-based pianist, makes his long-awaited debut with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 27 at the Southern Theatre. It's an all-Mozart program, conducted by CSO music director Rossen Milanov.

Louis Kahn Estonia Foundation Facebook page

Anyone want to buy a floating concert venue that looks like a spaceship?

As recently reported in the Chicago Tribune, cellist Yo-Yo Ma is on a mission to save an unusual music-related architectural anomaly: Louis Kahn's floating concert hall, Point Counterpoint II.

Ma made the plea in The New York Review of Books, responding to a review of "A Mystic Monumentality," about the American architect Kahn.

bopsymphonia.org.nz

English composer Gustav Holst took us on a musical journey across the solar system, from Mercury to Neptune, in his symphonic suite The Planets.

In an unexpected part of our own planet, more down-to-earth original manuscripts by Holst that were missing for more than 100 years have been found in New Zealand.

And they were almost thrown out.

euclidquartet.com

Mary Hoffman was program director of WOSU Radio in the days when WOSU-FM meant classical music at 89.7 on the dial.

During my time here, I've inherited offices and files originating with Mary. Reading about her music programming and her views informing what makes a tremendous music station made for a wonderful education.

clarinet in open case with red velvet lining
DrKssn / Wikimedia Commons

Classical 101 is collecting new and gently used musical instruments to put into the hands of local kids. Learn how you can help at wosu.org/replay.

I still vividly remember my first encounter with a musical instrument.

When you grow up next door to a junior-high school music teacher and your father is an amateur big-band singer rattling the walls with his LPs of Sing Along with Mitch, you either run away from the neighborhood screaming or you develop your own love of music.

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.

Conspirare

Last fall, a recording of Considering Matthew Shepard, a beautiful oratorio by Craig Hella Johnson, was released.

The story of Matthew Shepard has moved and infuriated the world since his murder in 1998.

Columbus Children's Choir Facebook page

The New World Singers, a Columbus Children's Choir ensemble, join pianist Gilbert De Greeve in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 16 in Capital University's Mees Auditorium.

The concert commemorates composer and music educator Zoltan Kodaly, 50 years after his death, and serves as a farewell to the New World Singers. The group of 55 teenage vocalists leaves for an 11-day concert tour in Austria and Hungary the following morning.

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.

color photo of Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany
Christoph Behrends / Flickr

Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor "Choral" is one of the crown jewels of the symphonic repertoire, and has, from very early on, been recognized as such.

The crown jewel of Hamburg, Germany's cultural life at the moment is the newly opened Elbphilharmonie concert hall which, when you come to think of it, looks somewhat like a crown.

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.

Pixabay

I have a close friend living in another state who is dealing with a serious illness.

It's not as if I can run over there to take care of his kids, as much as I'd love to. And I'm willing to bet he has a freezer full of casseroles. It's sad, though — with me being so far away that he'll have to miss out on my late mother's tuna fish-potato chip-mushroom soup slow bake that was a Friday night staple until the Pope changed his mind.

Still, he's someone I love a lot, for whom I'd like to do, well, something.

So I decided to send him music.

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?

black-and-white photo of Maria Callas singing
The Ed Sullivan Show / CBS

A few weeks ago during Opera and More, I was remembering soprano Roberta Peters, who died earlier this year. I said that Peters had been Ed Sullivan's most-featured guest, more than Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland or Topo Gigio, the Italian mouse.

I went on to say, "And if you don't know Ed Sullivan, call me up on the phone."

Quite a few listeners did call, including a lovely plethora of 20- and 30-somethings for whom Ed Sullivan was not even in the history books.

The first shovels to dig the Erie Canal went into the ground on July 4th, 1817. When it was completed in 1825, the canal transformed the nation’s economy, allowing goods to move from the Hudson River to cities along the Great Lakes.

To mark the occasion, David Alan Miller, the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s music director, dreamed up the plan to commission and perform original works at seven stops along the route.


Felix Broede / kentnagano.com

Just recently, it was announced that conductor Alan Gilbert will be leaving the New York Philharmonic to go to Hamburg, Germany. Now it looks like the music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano, may be spending more time in Europe as well.

A lithograph of Abraham Lincoln's funeral cortage in Columbus
Albert Edmenson / Columbus Metropolitan Library

Here's what happens when you clean your office — at least, in my case.

You find things you never knew you had, that are interesting in and of themselves and would also make great radio programs.

During a recent — and rare — burst of office cleaning, I found an envelope from my buddy Andrew MacGregor, recording engineer extraordinaire, marked, "St. Joseph Cathedral, The Music of A. Lincoln's Funeral."

Name That Tune TV show logo from 1950s
CBS Archives

Some of you may remember a television program called Name That Tune. Contestants would "bid" against each other for the opportunity to win cash by naming a tune within a few notes.

You've heard the line, "I can name that tune in three notes." One complicating factor was that the notes were played on a piano!

Wikipedia

I suppose the reason Claudio Monteverdi is my favorite composer is that I've always enjoyed the combination and the tension of words and music.

I'm a little late getting on the Monteverdi birthday bus. He was born 450 years ago, on May 15, 1567.

Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic
Chris Lee / New York Philharmonic

After eight years as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert is leaving to become chief conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.  

Interestingly, just as the New York Philharmonic's home, David Geffen Hall, is about to undergo a major renovation, Gilbert is moving into a shiny new facility in Hamburg, Germany.

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