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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black-and-white photo of soprano Birgit Nilsson in front of a mirror
Svenskt Pressfoto / Wikimedia Commons

Born May 17, 1918, Birgit Nilsson was an extraordinary Swedish soprano.

Deutsche Grammophon

History, that capricious dispenser of fate, remembers some people well, others not so well and still others not at all. The same is true for musical works — some of which enjoy immortality, while others languish in obscurity, waiting for heroes to bring them back to light.

Italian violinist Francesca Dego may well go down in history as the heroine of a lesser-known violin concerto by 20th-century composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. It's a gorgeous work she justly calls a "gem" and an "Italian opera for the violin" that fell into neglect as victim to some of history's darker, crueler twists of fate.

HarperCollins Publishers

Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Chilean-born actress Felicia Montealegre, had three children: Jamie, Alexander and Nina. Montealegre died in 1978. Bernstein died in 1990, at the age of 72. 

Aspiring orchestral musicians have long known that the road to a professional career is arduous and paved with risks. But new research from the U.K. shows that even attaining the brass ring of an orchestral job does not necessarily provide financial security. In fact, even with salaried, full-time employment, many British orchestral musicians are struggling to pay their bills.

If you're looking for the best date-night cuddle soundtrack, if you need an outlet for your own joy, passion and despair — or if you just want to have a great time, join me Friday nights at 7 for Classical 101's Front Row Center.

It's a new program, hosted by yours truly, all about opera and more.

Simon & Schuster

I knew of Eugene Drucker as a formidable violinist, and as a member of the acclaimed Emerson String Quartet. The Emersons have been established internationally for years. And they've long had a home on Classical 101.

color photo of matthew Burtner looking at a large score
matthewburtner.com

Composer and sound artist Matthew Burtner says he understands the sound of snow.

“Growing up in Alaska, the sound of snow is what really got me into computer music,” said Burtner —professor of composition and computer technologies and chair of the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia — in a recent phone interview. “I just understand the sound of snow really well, and I’ve used it in my music for a long time.”

Two poets and a composer walk into a radio studio. Nope, not the setup for a silly joke — but instead for an intriguing conversation among local artists about creating art.

Monday afternoon Columbus composer Jacob Reed and Thomas Worthington High School student poet Nat Hickman joined me in the Classical 101 studios for a conversation about writing poetry and music inspired by poetry.

Paola Kudacki / Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera presents a new production of Jules Massenet's Cendrillon, screened live in HD at movie theaters worldwide at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28.

Arvo Pärt is one of the most popular, most performed living composers. He's beloved worldwide for his signature sound – a spacious, meditative music that tends to sound timeless.

But there's a lesser-known side to the 82-year-old Estonian's career. It's a story that can be traced in a new recording of Pärt's four Symphonies. The album is a musical journey spanning 45 years in fervently detailed performances by the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, conducted by fellow Estonian Tõnu Kaljuste.

color photo of LancasterChorale singing in a concert in a church
facebook.com/lancaster-chorale

It happens early on in almost every creation story — the stars and the planets are made and set in motion, leaving us, throughout the eons, to look up at the sky and wonder how it all works.

It is the stuff of poetry and music. And this weekend, LancasterChorale will perform a program of works inspired by celestial bodies and other natural wonders.

Gregor Hohenberg / Sony Classical

There may be a phantom of the opera in literature, in the movies and on Broadway. But in recent years, tenor Jonas Kaufmann has risked being labeled the phantom tenor.

color photo of the facade of the Ohio Statehouse
Jim Bowen / Flickr

The alarming escalation of school shootings in recent years has left our nation grieving for innocent lives lost and desperate to bring the bloodshed to an end. A student-led group of Ohio musicians is aiming to help end school shootings — not with political rhetoric, not from the bully pulpit, but instead with a day full of beautiful music.

HarperCollins Publishers

Think of your favorite page-turner. Think of the novel you get lost in, whether on the beach or on the bus — The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough comes to mind for me.

Then add to that a dash of love for music and musicians, and you get Lauren Belfer's And After the Fire.

jennifer koh holding her violin
Juergen Frank / jenniferkoh.com

The Columbus Symphony welcomes composer Andreia Pinto Correia this weekend for the world premiere of her Ciprés (Cypresses)a work for orchestra inspired by the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.

Following the premiere, violinist Jennifer Koh joins the symphony as the soloist for Jean Sibelius' Concerto in D Minor. The Columbus Symphony program closes with Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

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