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

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.

CBS Television / Wikimedia Commons

Soprano Maria Callas—controversial, temperamental, with a voice described alternately as "dazzling" and "catastrophic"—remains an enigma whose recordings continue to be bestsellers 60 years after they were released.

Callas died unexpectedly at her home in Paris on Sept. 16, 1977, at the age of 53.

Houston Rogers / Wikimedia Commons

Sept. 16 is the 40th anniversary of the death of Maria Callas. Born in 1923, Callas was 53 years old when she died.

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.

promo photo for Opera Project Columbus' production of Suor Angelica
Opera Project Columbus

Opera Project Columbus, conducted by Alessandro Siciliani, presents Giacomo Puccini's one-act opera Suor Angelica in the Lincoln Theatre, Friday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 10.

color photo of flutist Nancy Hadden
Gary Cogley / nancyhadden.co.uk

Flutist Nancy Hadden has lived in the U.K. since the late 1970s. Born in Oxford, Ohio, Hadden grew up in the Columbus area.

She comes home Sunday, Sept. 10 to present a concert in memory of her parents, Robert and Janet Smyser Fenholt, 3 p.m. at North Broadway United Methodist Church in Clintonville. The concert is free, and everyone is welcome.

color photo of Susan Van Pelt Petry dancing
Susan Van Pelt Petry

"We are born and we die, and in between we wear clothes."

That's dancer, choreographer and Ohio State University dance professor Susan Van Pelt Petry's whimsical summary of the role of fabric in the lives of women the world over.

"Fabric is literally part of our lives," Van Pelt Petry said. "It’s the fabric of our lives."

For that reason, fabric is the inspiration for Van Pelt Petry’s new dance theater piece The Linen Closet, an exploration of women’s work and roles over time through dance and spoken texts. Fabric is also the headliner of The Linen Closet and Other Collections, Van Pelt Petry’s first full-length solo dance performance in nearly 20 years.

Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington Facebook page

One of the many joys of this job is seeing locally based talent grow to become a thriving entity. Such is the case with Antoine Clark, a young clarinetist and conductor who holds a doctorate in musical arts from Ohio State University.

Five years ago, Clark formed the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. The chamber orchestra is now entering its fifth season, in residence at the eponymous performing arts venue in Worthington.

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.

Frankie Kuo / VIVO Music Festival

Some years ago, violinist Charles Weatherbee made a simple, but profound statement during an interview. Carpe Diem String Quartet was to perform at the Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus downtown.

When I asked him what had sparked the quartet's interest in the venue and in their adventurous programming, he said, "If we want people to step into our (classical music) world, we must be willing to step into theirs."

Adventurous programming and unusual venues are the norm for the musicians performing in this year's VIVO Music Festival, Aug. 30 through Sept. 3.

Marcio De Assis / Wikimedia Commons

For a number of years now, Venezuela's Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra has been a bright light of the country's cultural and artistic life. Its social value in helping talented young people, some from extreme poverty, develop themselves and find a path of purpose via classical music has also been widely applauded.

This government-supported program is a truly fine example of how art can improve lives. But therein lies the problem—the message from the government often is, don't bite the hand that feeds you.

It was recently announced that the orchestra's four-city U.S. tour has been abruptly canceled, after conductor Gustavo Dudamel wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times that got him and the orchestra in trouble.

Mid-Ohio Opera Facebook page

Not long ago, a young man from Mansfield, Ohio, came to see me. Joel Vega is a tenor, husband, father and entrepreneur. He had heard that I've been around the opera and arts management business over the years—a good way to die broke.

Vega was trying to start an opera company in his hometown, and he asked for my advice.

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.

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