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.

Find 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.

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Here's an interview I did with George Manahan, who is one of several conductors being looked at and listened to as a potential Music Director for the Columbus Symphony. He begins by talking about Beethoven's 5th Symphony, and goes on to describe the way his career developed as an opera and symphony conductor. (As a conductor, period, one should say.) Manahan comes to Columbus after serving long appointments with the New Jersey Symphony and the Richmond Symphony, where he served as Music Director for many years.

Glass rods amplified by plastic balloons...an aluminum piano...a piano wheelbarrow...an inflatable banjo. These are just a few of the many pieces of art which defied the American definition of art as put forth by Agent Sam Lacher, who was at one time the Arts Section Director for the U.S. Customs Department.

Beverly Sills at 80

May 28, 2009

May 29 is - okay would have been - Beverly Sills' 80th birthday. She died in July, 2006. Thirty years after her last performances, it's easy to forget the extent of her fame as an artist. In her later years she became a slightly over exposed TV personality. She served as General Manager of the New York City Opera, later as Chairman of the Metropolitan and at Lincoln Center.

Music From Crystal Clear Glass

May 28, 2009

Yesterday I had a trip down memory lane...America's and mine...and I took three family members along for the ride. One of Colonial Williamsburg's foremost musicians, Dean Shostak, presented a multimedia concert on instruments made of glass. Yes - fragile, clear, breakable glass.

John Rittmeyer Recalls the West-East Connection

May 27, 2009

I saw the Cleveland Orchestra on a public-school field trip when I was around 12, and the Beatles in 1966 (who actually got me actively interested in music).  But there was a West-East connection that I only became aware of years later that may have influenced my eventual love of classical music. After I came to Columbus to attend Ohio State, I began listening to WOSU-FM while studying because classical music seemed like good background stuff to have on.  Well, I had one of those big A-ha!

Conductor George Manahan makes his second trip to the Ohio Theater May 29 and 30, conducting the Columbus Symphony in an all Beethoven program: Leonore Overture No. 3 Piano Concerto No. 3 with Orli Shaham Symphony No. 5 The May 30 performance will be broadcast live over WOSU 89.7, as are all Columbus Symphony Classical Series concerts. I'll be on hand for pre-performance talks one hour before concert time. I hope Mr. Manahan will be joining me.

Grieg's Greatest Hit?

May 21, 2009

I aired a performance of one of classical music's best-known works this morning: Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto.

From Beethoven to Hovhaness

May 21, 2009

The 20th century American composer Alan Hovhaness used nature as a symbol for the spiritual longing for the divine in his Symphony No. 2, "Mysterious Mountain."  This work from 1955 expresses this aspect of the composer's spiritual philosophy.

The sound of jazz will echo within the walls of the Lincoln Theatre for the first time in some fifty years when Byron Stripling and the Columbus Jazz Allstars perform there Thursday June 4th.

The Reverie Harp

May 20, 2009

Thought you could never play an instrument? Have a stressful day and can't unwind? At a loss how to cheer a shut-in or a fretful child?  The Reverie Harp just might be your ticket to personal enjoyment, relaxation, and good deeds. Created and designed as a musical therapy instrument for people of all ages, it requires no  musical training to play. None.

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