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

Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington Facebook page

One of the many joys of this job is seeing locally based talent grow to become a thriving entity. Such is the case with Antoine Clark, a young clarinetist and conductor who holds a doctorate in musical arts from Ohio State University.

Five years ago, Clark formed the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. The chamber orchestra is now entering its fifth season, in residence at the eponymous performing arts venue in Worthington.

Itzhak Perlman Facebook page

Itzhak Perlman celebrates his 71st birthday this week.

Since appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 when he was 13, Perlman has become the world's best-known violinist. Like Yehudi Menuhin or Jascha Heifetz earlier in the 20th century, Perlman's name became synonymous with excellence on the violin.

Frankie Kuo / VIVO Music Festival

Some years ago, violinist Charles Weatherbee made a simple, but profound statement during an interview. Carpe Diem String Quartet was to perform at the Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus downtown.

When I asked him what had sparked the quartet's interest in the venue and in their adventurous programming, he said, "If we want people to step into our (classical music) world, we must be willing to step into theirs."

Adventurous programming and unusual venues are the norm for the musicians performing in this year's VIVO Music Festival, Aug. 30 through Sept. 3.

Marcio De Assis / Wikimedia Commons

For a number of years now, Venezuela's Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra has been a bright light of the country's cultural and artistic life. Its social value in helping talented young people, some from extreme poverty, develop themselves and find a path of purpose via classical music has also been widely applauded.

This government-supported program is a truly fine example of how art can improve lives. But therein lies the problem—the message from the government often is, don't bite the hand that feeds you.

It was recently announced that the orchestra's four-city U.S. tour has been abruptly canceled, after conductor Gustavo Dudamel wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times that got him and the orchestra in trouble.

Mid-Ohio Opera Facebook page

Not long ago, a young man from Mansfield, Ohio, came to see me. Joel Vega is a tenor, husband, father and entrepreneur. He had heard that I've been around the opera and arts management business over the years—a good way to die broke.

Vega was trying to start an opera company in his hometown, and he asked for my advice.

Prague, Czech Republic
Pixabay

Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro wasn't quite the great success he hoped it would be when it premiered in Vienna in May 1786, but when it was performed in Prague in December of that year it was a big hit.

When he was invited to that city the following January, Mozart not only enjoyed experiencing the appreciation of audiences there, he also brought along a new symphony he thought they might enjoy.  It came to be called the Prague Symphony.  And enjoy it, they did. 

color photo of Eric Whitacre leading his Live Virtual Choir
ericwhitacre.com

"In 1991, I had maybe the most profound and transformative experience in my life."

That’s how Eric Whitacre began his February 2013 TED Talk about how his choral work Cloudburst and his history-making Virtual Choir project came about.

Wikimedia Commons

Harvey Sachs wrote his first biography of Arturo Toscanini in 1978. Nearly 40 years later, he's published a completely new book about the conductor, "Toscanini: Musician of Conscience."

At over 900 pages, this is a fabulous read. The maestros' life and Sachs' skill telling the story make an unbeatable combination. You won't be bored.

color photo of people sitting in a dark movie theater watching a bright white blank screen
Kenneth Lu / Flickr

Ah, the summer blockbuster. It’s a great American tradition—all those stars, all that action, all that popcorn.

But why deal with larger-than-life price tags and sticky movie-theater floors when you can stay home and take your ears to the movies on The American Sound?  

Rainy Day Instruments / Etsy

Classical 101's musical instrument drive, Replay!, continues until 4 p.m. Friday. It's designed to get musical instruments into the hands of young people in Columbus by collecting donations of instruments no longer needed or being used. The response has been fantastic, so thank you and keep them coming.

With all the great stories of first experiences with music and musical instruments we've heard this week, I tried to recollect my first memories of music. Up until then, I had pretty much forgotten about what actually must have been my first musical instrument—a Mickey Mouse guitar!

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