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

Wikimedia Commons

Ah, "the sad heart of love." As we approach this year's St. Valentine's Day, I've been wondering, how much great music is inspired by love? Of course, music can be inspired by many things, but love is certainly one of the most interesting and humanly engaging musical themes.

Celebrate Black History Month with Classical 101

Feb 10, 2017
Wynton Marsalis playing trumpet
Eric Delmar / Wikimedia Commons

Black History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of African-Americans, and in classical music that contribution is profound. Throughout the month of February, Classical 101 will be highlighting some of those legacies.

photo of ticket stub from 1973 Washington Cathedral concert, conducted by Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein Facebook page

Richard Nixon's second inauguration, on Jan. 19, 1973, featured a starry concert at the then-new Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Philadelphia Orchestra—then and now among the world's finest—conducted by Eugene Ormandy, performed Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in a minor, with Van Cliburn, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

screencap of the National Endowment for the Arts' Opera Honors interview with Leontyne Price
National Endowment for the Arts / Wikimedia Commons

The magnificent American soprano Leontyne Price celebrates her 90th birthday Feb. 10.

Classical 101 by Request invites you to a birthday celebration. We'll be playing your favorite performances by the great lady from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.

To get in on the party, go to wosu.org/requests, and let me know what you'd like to hear.

Joanne by Lady Gaga album art
ladygaga.com

With the upcoming Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 and the 59th annual Grammy Awards the following weekend, it seems a good time to discuss music.

Huh?

Liberace with candelabras
Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

As the saying goes, laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.

And — hello? — who wants to cry alone?

American composer Philip Glass turns 80 years old on January 31. To mark the occasion, we asked several of Glass' colleagues and collaborators to pick a piece of his music and write about it.

Kaupo Kikkas / Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

The Baltic nation of Estonia is home to one of the world’s most esteemed choral traditions, rich with gigantic choral festivals and some of the finest professional choirs around, and inextricably linked with Estonia’s political history.

One of the crown jewels among Estonia’s choral treasures is the multi-Grammy Award-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. This Saturday, Feb. 4, Columbus music lovers will have a chance to hear the choir sing and its artistic director talk about the choir’s work within Estonia’s fascinating choral music tradition.

pdclipart.org

There are many tried-and-true music jokes. I will not tell any viola jokes, because they get picked on all the time. Ditto for the bassoons. How about this one?

How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb?

colorphoto of Benedict Cumberbatch and James Rhodes sitting at a grand piano
from YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm4OKds30k8

A couple of years ago, The New Yorker published a cartoon by Joe Dator that truly catches the spirit of our times.

In the single panel, a pregnant woman undergoing an ultrasound exam looks befuddledly at a face on the ultrasound monitor screen. The mouth of the woman giving the exam is slightly open, as though in mid-speech. The cartoon’s caption reads, “Oh, don’t worry. That’s Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s in everything.” View the cartoon here.

Wikipedia

There have been 78 world premieres at Carnegie Hall to date, beginning with Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, the "New World Symphony," which premiered Dec. 16, 1893.

American composer Philip Glass will raise that number to 79 world premieres next week, on Jan. 31, and what's more, he'll do it on his 80th birthday.

Some of the traditional Chinese musical instruments on display in the Legacy of Imperial Beijing: The Bliss M. and Mildred A. Wiant Collection of Chinese Art exhibition at OSU's Urban Arts Space.
CHRISTINA MATHISON / OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Behind every great piano and every great pianist is a technician on whom everything depends. For most of the last half century in Columbus, that piano technician has been Ben Wiant.

Two recent events — one musical, the other related to the world of Chinese art — have brought Wiant out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight.

chicagoarchitecture.org

Here in Central Ohio, we are fortunate to hear the Mighty Morton theater organ on a regular basis. Clark Wilson is the current resident organist at the Ohio Theatre, where the organ has lived since the theater opened in 1928.

Opera Columbus

Opera Columbus presents Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio in an updated staging, complete with James Bond, dry martinis, beautiful people and villains just waiting to be vanquished.

Showtimes for Mission: Seraglio include 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 (Mozart's 261st birthday) and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29th at the Southern Theatre.

The opera is sung in German, with English-language dialog.

Vimeo

New Netflix original series The Crown is earning critical hosannas and wicked-high TV ratings internationally.

The series traces the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from her early dewy days as a bride, to a monarch thrust into the position by her father's premature death, which was blamed in part on the selfishness of Edward, Duke of Windsor, who preferred marriage to a American divorcee than life as King of England.

Google Books

There are perhaps no two men more qualified to talk about their pursuit of music and literature than Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa. So when I discovered that the two had sat down at various intervals over the course of a few years to discuss music and transcribe their conversations, I knew I had to read Absolutely on Music.

"Dance as though no one is watching" is a familiar encouragement to lower your inhibitions and let the music move you. But what if you can't even take two steps without tumbling to the ground?

Such was the case for Sarah Hansen, who, because of a progressive neurological disease, could barely put one foot in front of the other without support.

Wikimedia Commons

The world just got a little sadder. The New York Times, Opera News and a variety of print and online screeds are reporting the death of soprano Roberta Peters, at her home in New York, at the age of 86.

Ken Howard/The Metropolitan Opera

Charles Gounod's opera Roméo et Juliette was first performed in Paris in 1867. This year, The Metropolitan Opera is staging a new production of the opera, with Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo in the title roles. 

conunova.com

Exciting, young violinist Alexandra Conunova makes her U.S. debut this weekend in her only scheduled 2017 engagement in this country, performing Jean Sibelius' Violin Concerto in d with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

Every January, when I take down the holiday decorations that adorn my apartment walls, I’m always struck by how abruptly empty my home feels in comparison. A similar feeling comes when I look at my calendar, which seems to shift from endless holiday parties and seasonal social engagements to not much of anything overnight.

Ryan Speedo Green (@RyanSpeedoGreen) is the bass-baritone taking the opera world by storm. A recent New York Times review of the Metropolitan Opera’s “La Bohème” called him “a show stopper.”

Classical composers have long had their patrons: Beethoven had Archduke Rudolph, John Cage had Betty Freeman. For contemporary opera composers, there's Beth Morrison. She and her production company have commissioned new works from some of the most innovative emerging composers today.

Marty Sohl/The Metropolitan Opera

Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco will be transmitted live from the stage of The Metropolitan Opera in New York to movie theaters around the world at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7. James Levine conducts, with Plácido Domingo in the title role.

When British art critic and prize-winning author John Berger died Jan. 3 at the age of 90, it was something of the end of an era. Journalist Ian Maleney wrote in The Irish Times of Berger's passing, saying:

Courtesy of Ohio State University

Concerts at Ohio State is a collaboration between WOSU Classical 101 and the School of Music at Ohio State University. The radio series presents performances by OSU students and faculty, mostly at Weigel Hall on campus, recorded by Mark Rubinstein.

Ben Johnston doesn't follow the rules of music. Sure, he's got degrees from two colleges and a conservatory. But from an early age, Johnston heard music differently. When he was growing up in Georgia, he questioned the standard scales he was taught in school. "I played by ear and I invented my own chords," he says.

New Year’s Concert from Vienna

Dec 30, 2016

On New Year’s Day, listeners around the world will tune in to hear a concert from Vienna—a traditional concert of Strauss waltzes and other Viennese confections. And while the musical experience is certainly a sumptuous one, hearing the concert on radio leaves you missing another important element: the visual opulence of the venue.

2016 was a memorable year for Classical 101 and the arts in Columbus, check out the stories from our blog over the past year. 

In Memoriam 2016

Dec 27, 2016

Music suffered heavy losses in 2016, a year like no other in recent memory. We bid unexpected farewells to the very brightest stars — David Bowie and Prince — but we also lost masters from every corner of the music world, from classical composers and jazz greats to world music superstars, soul singers, country giants, prog-rock pioneers and record producers. They left us with unforgettable sounds and compelling stories. Hear their music and explore their legacies here.

(Credits: Tom Huizenga, producer; Mark Mobley, editor; Brittany Mayes, designer)

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