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

color photograph of Worthington's Tröndlin fortepiano
Robert Murphy

A rare fortepiano from the age of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann returns to its Worthington home Saturday with a five-figure makeover and as star of its own show at Worthington’s historic Orange Johnson House.

Reportedly one of only three extant fortepianos in the United States made by the 19th-century Leipzig-based piano builder Johann Tröndlin, the instrument returns to Worthington after an extensive two-year restoration by Oberlin conservatory piano technician and early piano restorer Robert Murphy.

High5ive Photography

The political news this week has made it harder to process the death of Bill Conner, the President and CEO of CAPA, who died after a two-year battle with cancer on October 28.

We were hardly close friends. But the phone would ring every few months with a summons to a sumptuous lunch and a few hours of shop talk and dish.  We would sit together at Columbus Symphony concerts (the first time he wasn’t here was for the Verdi Requiem of all nights!) I can’t claim to have known him well. I can say we were friends and to me he was nothing but warm, kind, smart and supportive.

Rick Buchanan

It's a busy weekend at Classical 101 and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. On Saturday and Sunday, ProMusica presents an Ohio premiere along with some classic favorites.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

color photo of severl yellow metal ballot boxes stacked on top of each other
Keith Bacongco/Creative Commons/Flickr /

You’ve read the headlines, heard the great radio news reports on WOSU 89.7 NPR News, watched the debates (don’t remind me) and, having seen and heard enough about Election 2016, you’ve cast your vote.

So, what will you do with your Tuesday evening, now that all is said and done for another four years? 

Joyce DiDonato is one of the most acclaimed opera singers of her generation; this year, she won the Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Her latest album, In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music, is a collection of baroque arias from the 17th and 18th centuries divided into two sections — one addressing war, the other, peace.


Will surprises never cease?  Recently singer-songwriter Bob Dylan received the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.  Now composer Philip Glass won the 2016 Tribune Literary Award in Chicago.  


Members of the Cleveland Orchestra lent their prestige and skill to inspire the home-team crowd by performing the National Anthem at the opening of game 7 of the World Series this week--but the Indians still lost.


There's some unusual programming on this Sunday's Musica Sacra, heard at 8:00 PM on Classical 101.

Kylie Harwell-Sturgill, WOSU

Starting November 5th, you’ll be hearing a new voice on the air;  WOSU’s new Classical 101 Program Director, Cheryl Dring! In addition to taking on the role of Program Director, you can hear Ms. Dring on-air, Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. book cover

I had never heard of Julius Eastman (1940-1990) until I turned to last Sunday's profile of this enigmatic composer by Zachary Woolfe in the New York Times.


Is that a wandering spirit we hear in the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Trio in D, "The Ghost"?  Is it the ghost of Hamlet's father "doomed for a certain term to walk the night," or can it be the three witches  that incite ungodly ambition in Shakespeare's Macbeth with the logic of "Foul is fair, and fair is foul"?


Verdi's Messa da Requiem is performed by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Rossen Milanov in the Ohio Theater, October 28 and 29 at 8 PM The choral director is Ronald J. Jenkins.

Today's podcast host, Will Waters, 16, is a home-schooled junior in high school from Dublin. His interests include fencing, rocketry, and music. As a school project, Will has prepared a podcast promoting the upcoming performances of Verdi's Requiem in Columbus. Listen here:

Kylie Harwell-Sturgill

Last Friday, I went out to lunch with Orlay and Orlando Alonso, and experienced first-hand the incredible energy that these two Cuban-born piano virtuoso players naturally exert. The best part: you have a chance to experience their whirlwind, gale force musical talent for yourself this week at The Alonso Brothers: Musica Cubana.

Jeffrey Bishop's album artwork

There's only one place in town to catch Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate and innovative pianist Karl Larson: The Short North Stage, courtesy of The Johnstone Fund for New Music. 

Don't miss "restless."

Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra under the direction of Theodore Kuchar perform Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra / YouTube

When it was announced the Cleveland Indians made it to the World Series, there was an enthusiastic response of symphonic proportions.  The Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, led by Theodore Kuchar, gave a musical expression to where everyone wants to be next Tuesday when the series begins--out at "the old ball game."

color headshot of Jordan Dodson
publicity photo /

It’s been almost three years since guitar virtuoso and Grove City native Jordan Dodson first performed on Classical 101.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

In preparation for the release of her new album, opera singer and American star Joyce DiDonato invites visitors to her site to describe where they "find peace." The mezzo-soprano has worked with conductor Maxim Emelyanychev and ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro to record the upcoming album In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music

Of course, the title and content beg the question: how do politics and Classical music fit together? Should they?


The Metropolitan Opera presents Mozart's Don Giovanni, live in HD in movie theaters worldwide on Saturday, October 22nd at 1:00 PM. 

Amazon,book jacket image

Many years ago I attended a concert in Boston's Symphony Hall by the pianist Van Cliburn. I remember lines at the box office, people trying for last minute standing room, and risers of overflow seating on the stage, not far from the polished Steinway.  This was not a crowd for Frank Sinatra, or Mick Jagger or Maria Callas (it was 1973.)  But it was the crowd for a six foot four pianist from Kilgore, Texas with the funny name, Van Cliburn.

color photo taken from behind the musicians of the Dublin Win Symphony during a rehearsal
Erica Wood / Dublin Wind Symphony

Ask composer Dr. Nicole Piunno how she would describe her new work Eternity in an Hour, and one particular word comes up again and again: joy.

“There’s a lot of joy in the piece,” Piunno said in a recent phone interview. “It starts with joy and it ends with joy.”

A Tuscan vineyard at sunset.

It's been reported again, this time by CBS News.  We already knew classical music was good for humans and animals and can soothe the savage beast, but Mozart's music can encourage the noble grape.  I had heard Mozart was supposed to make your kids smarter, but apparently his music can help grapes reach their full potential too.


Whether you're in the mood for some Handel, or feeling more like Stravinsky's Firebird would light up your day, Classical 101 has something for everyone each week. Daily programming such as The Amadeus Deli provide the staples— the meat and potatoes of Classical repertoire— while special evening shows such as Fretworks and The American Sound add a little spice to the musical palette. 


Whether you're in the mood for some Handel or feeling more like Stravinsky's Firebird would light up your day, Classical 101 has something for everyone each week. Daily programming such as The Amadeus Deli provide the staples— the meat and potatoes of Classical repertoire— while special evening shows such as Fretworks and The American Sound add a little spice to the musical palette. 

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

It's not every day that David Danzmayr, Paul Rissman, Janet Chen and Brittany Lockman of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra can get together and actually sit down for a cup of coffee, but when it happens, the conversation is incredible. I was lucky enough to sit down with this incredible power-team and talk about their upcoming Naked Series concert.

The Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera begins a new season of live in HD transmissions from the Met stage in New York to cinemas worldwide with their new production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Saturday October 8th at noon.

Neville Marriner conducts the the Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra.
Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Neville Marriner has died at the age of 92.  He was one of the most widely-known conductors in the world, due in good part to his founding and leading the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, one of the most successful and most recorded of all chamber orchestras--perhaps the most successful.

Wild Goose Creative

This weekend, residents and visitors in the Glen Echo neighborhood between Clintonville and North Campus/Old North Columbus can stop by a score of front porches for some good ol' fashioned neighborly fun.  The event is being hosted by Wild Goose Creative and 19 independent residents.


For me, there is always something slightly mournful about the first real hints of Autumn here in Central Ohio, usually felt near the end of September.  No surprise there about the timing, but still, the change in the air is finally noticeable this season, with the grey skies and the wind making the rain feel colder than the still mild temperatures would indicate.  The kind of music I feel like listening to often changes, too.