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

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.

Wikimedia Commons

It's not as if I've never heard of Ferdinando Paer.  

Recently I've gotten to know Paer's oratorio Il Santo Sepolcro (The Holy Sepulcher). I came across a new recording of this work in our wonderful music library

I've scheduled The Holy Sepulcher for Music in Mid-Ohio at 8 p.m. this Sunday, June 25.

color photo of an open dictionary on a podium in a reading room
Flickr

Like any endeavor, classical music has its own specialized language. But unlike many endeavors, the lingo of classical music comes from many different European languages, each with its own special sounds and sensibilities.

Some of the many colorful musical expressions have made their way out of the practice room, the concert hall and the opera house and into common usage in English. Others, while no less amusing, remain rooted in music-speak.

Ever primed for a good linguistic romp, I wanted to share some of these terms with you — just for kicks.

black-and-white photo of Donald McGinnis
Ohio Music Education Association / omea-ohio.org

Music in Mid-Ohio returns to Classical 101 at 1 p.m. this Sunday, June 18. Through the end of September, the program will showcase performances in and around Columbus, "often by your friends and neighbors."

tableau.uchicago.edu

Let me just say that musicologists — those who study the history and performance practice of music — seldom have groupies.

Divas have groupies. Tenors have groupies. Even — God bless us and spare us — conductors have groupies. Musicologists? Not so much.

But I'm willing to bet that Philip Gossett had groupies.

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco / rachelbartonpine.com

The finger-blistering virtuosity of the music of early 19th-century violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini is so astonishing that when Paganini performed it, the rumor mill creaked of Faustian bargains. Today, one violinist aims to show the lyrical side of Paganini’s music in a brand-new recording that moves the soul as much as it amazes the senses.

Fame Is A Boomerang

Jun 12, 2017

As far as flashy, oversize coffee table books go, opera star Maria Callas is a fitting subject. A larger-than-life figure, she had a complicated off-stage story that played out with as much searing drama as the operas she sang. With hard work and sacrifice, Callas vaulted to the top of her art while pushing it to new levels of intensity. In her personal life, she searched for love, found it, then lost it and died young.

Katie Hawley / Storyful

OK, we've all heard about Nora, the piano-playing cat, or numerous other cats at the keyboard. There have been other musical animals caught on camera as well, but this is a new one.

Christopher Purdy and costumed character at the WOSU booth at the Columbus Arts Festival
Ray LaVoie / raylavoie.com

Live radio from the studio is great, but nothing beats live radio out in the community. For a ham like me, what could be better than presiding over Classical 101 by Request, live from the Columbus Arts Festival, from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, June 9?

Courtesy of James Judd

I couldn't find my keys. The car wouldn't start. Traffic was backed up for miles. I had to work late.

If you or someone you know has used one or all of those excuses for being late or missing an event, conductor James Judd says, not good enough.

Renée Fleming and Francis Collins have something unexpected in common: music.

Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, plays guitar. Fleming, of course, is a renowned soprano.

PBS

"They've been going in and out of style, but they're guaranteed to raise a smile."  

But have the Beatles really ever gone out of style? Much of the iconic rock band's music seems to endure in a timeless realm and shows no sign of being forgotten.

June 1967 marked the U.S. release of one of the most influential albums of popular music ever produced, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Glen Scarborough / Flickr

The Hollywood Walk of Fame features over 2,500 stars, laid out along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street. The number of classical musicians included — and who's missing from the lineup — may surprise you.

An eagle bone whistle. A sacred rattle. A singing turtle. A “love flute.”

These are just a few of the ancient Native American instruments showcased in Anthem for the Ancestors, a new work for string quartet, Native American instruments, narrator and multimedia visual effects composed by Carpe Diem String Quartet violinist Charles Wetherbee and Native American performer and composer Leon Joseph Littlebird.

color photo of a banquet scene form the opera JFK by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek
Marty Sohl / Fort Worth Opera

It would be difficult to name an individual who occupies a more exalted place in the American collective memory than John F. Kennedy. The former U.S. president has been idolized as an American war hero, a pedigreed New Englander, a dashing family man and an architect of progressive social ideals.

But instead of holding to this larger-than-life image of Kennedy, David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, composer and librettist, respectively, for their opera JFK, wanted to portray the human side of Jack and Jackie.

Cincinnati World Piano Competition Facebook page

The Cincinnati World Piano Competition is closing its doors after 60 years. It was recently announced that they were unable to raise the $300,000 needed to keep it going.

Founded in 1956 by Gloria G. Ackerman, the annual event became the longest-running piano competition in the country and an important opportunity to further the development of outstanding young pianists.

black-and-white photo of President John F. Kennedy
White House Press Office / Wikimedia Commons

Like many Americans who were alive on Nov. 22, 1963, noted historian Michael J. Hogan remembers vividly the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Wikimedia Commons

The Ordering of Moses is an oratorio by Robert Nathaniel Dett, written in 1932. The text, "from scripture and folklore," is a retelling of Moses leading his people out of captivity and into the promised land.

Certainly for Dett, an African-Canadian, the biblical parable resonated, and fed the drama and passion heard in the oratorio.

color photo of Vireo performers in Alcatraz cell block
David Soderland / operavireo.org

It’s an opera about a woman imprisoned by psychological demons. It was filmed at Alcatraz. And, if all that isn't cool enough, later this month you’ll be able to watch it in 15-minute episodes on your mobile device, computer or TV.

Moritz Nähr / Wikimedia Commons

Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler is one of the longest symphonies in the standard repertoire. There may be a few longer ones out there, but this "hymn to life, love and nature" is special. It's a musical journey that can last up to one hour and 45 minutes uninterrupted, but it is a trek well worth taking — especially if you enjoy big, late-Romantic orchestral music.

operacolumbus.org

The Metropolitan Opera broadcasts take a summer break, and I step in to bring you grand opera, both favorites and the unexpected. Opera and More returns to Classical 101 at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20, followed by every Saturday afternoon through the fall.

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra closes its season this weekend with what they hope becomes a long-running tradition—music director David Danzmayr and creative partner and principal guest artist Vadim Gluzman on stage together.

Sim Canetty-Clarke / ravishankaroperaproject.org

Last September, I wrote about the opera by Indian musician Ravi Shankar that was left unfinished when he died at the age of 92 in 2012 and about its recent completion. Sukanya premieres in England in a series of performances beginning tonight and leading up to a London performance at the Southbank Centre on May 19.

requiemformymother.com

Veteran Hollywood composer Stephen Edwards has seen a lot of drama, death and destruction on the silver screen but, until his mother passed away, he had experienced very little of it in his own life.

“I was kind of left not knowing what to do with myself,” Edwards said in a recent phone interview. "It was a feeling of helplessness, like I couldn’t do anything to bring her back, and I couldn’t do anything to help her."

For professional musicians, the instrument on which they play is more than just a tool of the trade. It can also be a muse, a partner and a voice.

Min Kym started playing the violin at age 6 and won her first competition at 11. Now, the former child prodigy is the author of a new book: Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung, in which she shares her story of finding her perfect partner — only to have it stolen away.

Carnegie Hall Archives / Wikimedia Commons

This Sunday is the birthday of the most popular of all Russian composers, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (May 7, 1840). And on today's date in 1891, he made his Carnegie Hall debut during his only visit to America, appearing at the grand opening of what would become one of the most famous concert halls in the world.

I'm not sure how much he had to practice to get there (to paraphrase the old joke), since he was already one of the world's most famous composers when he was invited to participate in this event.

Photoplayers Studio / Wikimedia Commons

Most people know the ditty about the toreador not spitting on the floor. 

Carmen, filled with tunes long made popular, has a foolproof story—sultry gypsy seduces clueless corporal and dumps him for a bullfighter. Wouldn't you? Unhappy corporal follows Carmen and the toreador to the bullring and stabs her to death while the crowd cheers on the the bull—the animal, I mean. Curtain. Applause.

But there's a lot more to it than that.

Recently I had the opportunity to observe music therapy classes at Columbus' Bridgeway Academy. Joining me for the visit were WOSU intern Sean Flynn and digital producer Emily Thompson.

In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, we created a series of posts and videos highlighting the work being done at Bridgeway, showing the positive effects music has on the lives and development of kids on the autism spectrum. This post is the last of three.

Socialization is an important goal for kids on the autism spectrum. The kind of connection to others that does not come naturally to them can be helped along, by music.

Recently I had the opportunity to observe music therapy classes at Columbus' Bridgeway Academy. Joining me for the visit were WOSU intern Sean Flynn and digital producer Emily Thompson.

In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, we created a series of posts and videos highlighting the work being done at Bridgeway, showing the positive effects music has on the lives and development of kids on the autism spectrum. This post is the second of three.

Here, we meet 12-year-old Tatum, who started at Bridgeway as a 3-year-old in 2008. Music therapists Tanya Corso and Liz Woolley encourage a young man who is already gifted musically and has perfect pitch to keep playing.

balletmet.org

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful," Mae West once said.

Can one city have too many performances of symphony, opera, ballet, theater and chamber music?

Absolutely not.

April has always been a busy month for the local arts calendar, but this month may be record-setting in the variety, quantity and sheer quality of local offerings. And it's just the beginning of what's to come this spring.

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