Classical 101

Classical 101 is Central Ohio’s source for 'round-the-clock classical music. Our hosts provide insight into classical music news from Columbus and around the world.

Explore concert previews, book and record reviews, arts features and archived audio and video of local and visiting musicians. Listen your way through our podcast archives of Opera Abbreviated and the Mozart Minute for a deeper dive into the music we play.

Playlists | Program Schedule

color photo of Mark Lomax playing drum set

Four hundred years ago this year, the first African people were taken from their homelands and brought to colonial America – thus instituting slavery in what would become the United States and inflicting profound wounds on individuals and American society that still have not healed. 

The University Press of Kentucky /

Jarmila Novotna (1907-1994) was a Czech opera singer who made movies with Fred Zinnemann, Montgomery Clift and Mario Lanza. She was a favorite of Arturo Toscanini, who brought her to New York in 1938. Just in time, as “the lights were going off all over Europe.”

color photo of Ayreheart folk trio

Wait long enough and an old-style musical instrument, much like an out-of-date piece of clothing, might eventually come back in fashion.

Or do what lutenist Ronn MacFarlane is doing and take an instrument that saw its heyday in the Renaissance and – with energy and a spirit of innovation – turn it into a rock star. 

Vincent Peters / Metropolitan Opera

Fifty years ago, a teacher gave me two tickets to see Renata Tebaldi and Franco Corelli in Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur

color photo of augusta savage sculpture called gamin
Smithsonian American Art Museum

All around the city, Columbus has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance in a big way.

As the commemorative events draw to a close later this month, Classical 101 and the Columbus Museum of Art are joining forces Saturday, Jan. 12 for Portraits of Langston, a program featuring music by two groundbreaking composers – one contemporary, one historical.

Jo McCulty / Ohio State University

Dear friends, please join me for a new broadcast season of Concerts @ Ohio State, featuring performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music at The Ohio State University. 

color photo of The Rose Ensemble sitting
Michael Haug Photography /

It’s the era defined by three of England’s most dramatic monarchs – Henry VIII, “Bloody” Mary I and Elizabeth I. It’s the era that saw the creation of a rival to the Catholic Church – the Church of England – the beheadings of queens and rivers of bloodshed in the name of religion and loyalty to the crown. 

And amid all that, it’s the era during which England gave the world some of its most glorious music.

National Guard Bureau historic files / Flickr

The turn of the calendar year is a study in contrasts. As we reflect on the events of the previous year, we look ahead to the year to come, in all its shining possibility. 

color photo from The Nurcracker
BalletMet /

About this time every year, countless girls across America and around the world see performances of the classic ballet The Nutcracker. The experience leads many of those girls to conjure up a big dream – to dance the ballet’s central solo role of Clara.

When I was a teenager, my favorite time during the holidays was after everyone else had gone to bed and I could sit up late, with only the twinkling of the Christmas tree for light.

Celeste Boyer Photography /

If the English horn were a singer, it would be one of the great contraltos – Kathleen Ferrier, perhaps, or Marian Anderson.

Negative Space /

Our hosts listen to a lot of music so, as you can imagine, we often turn to some of our favorite recordings at gift-giving time. 

color photo of soprano Maria Callas, sitting and posing
Sony Pictures Classics /

What is there left to say?

Enough to fill an engrossing new film, Maria by Callas, another examination of the life and career of Maria Callas, over 40 years after her death and more than 50 years past her final operatic performances. 

color photo of Mansfield Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in performance

Imagine, if you can, Christmas without Christmas cookies, or bright lights, or Christmas music.

There’s a lot to like about the holidays – good food, gift-giving (and receiving!), time spent with friends and cherished family traditions. But one of the best things about the Christmas season is the music.