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.

And check back frequently from June through August this year as we celebrate A Bernstein Summer. We're marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great composer, conductor and educator Leonard Bernstein with a series of local radio programs, podcasts, modules and blog posts.

View Playlists | Program Schedule

Columbus Symphony

The Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus present Giuseppe Verdi's Aida at the Ohio Theatre, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4. Rossen Milanov conducts.

I'm delighted that two fine local artists are playing featured roles: Brian Banion (Ramfis) and Robert Kerr (Pharaoh) — not to mention the superb all-volunteer Columbus Symphony Chorus, conducted by Ronald Jenkins.

This production of Aida will be broadcast at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 29 on Classical 101.

color photo of the musicians of Quartet Davis
Quartet Davis Facebook page

Think you know what a string quartet sounds like? Quartet Davis might have you thinking again.

Founded at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Quartet Davis blends a classical string quartet sound with influences from jazz, bluegrass, R&B and folk music to create a truly unique musical experience. This creative, young quartet joined me last week in the Classical 101 studios for an intimate interview and performance.

In 1983, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto tried a grand experiment. While the singers performed Elektra in German onstage, simultaneous translations in English were projected above the stage. These "supertitles," as they've come to be known, were quickly adopted at opera houses and are now an expected part of the opera-going experience.

Ken Howard / The Metropolitan Opera

Opera Abbreviated is a Classical 101 podcast that previews The Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series of performances beamed into cinemas worldwide.

The Met's new production of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca, everyone's favorite operatic potboiler, is the next feature, showing at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27. Staged by David McVicar, the production is conducted by Emmanuel Villaume and stars Sonya Yoncheva, Vittorio Grigolo and  Zelkjo Lucic.

Vadim Gluzman
Marco Borggreve

Siberia. The word, alone, sends a shiver down your spine. Siberia has some of the coldest temperatures on earth. Recent temperature readings have hit 50 below. Makes Ohio seem downright balmy!

Northern climates are the inspiration for two concerts this weekend by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra featuring Creative Partner and Principal Guest Artist Vadim Gluzman. In Northern Lights, Gluzman draws upon composers who hail from the Northern Hemisphere, who are, or were, accustomed to cold climates.

a few lines of shape note music
Bill Smith/Creative Commons/Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/byzantiumbooks/32773311793/in/photolist-34Ydj3-T7rmQE-RW4MMT-58v5mx-eciDGJ

A noted French author once said the accent of one's birthplace persists in the mind and heart as much as in speech.

The same holds true for musical works, and for two musical works, in particular — English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and the American work it inspired, Thomas Canning’s Fantasy on a Hymn Tune.

color side profile photo of David Del Tredici at the piano
daviddeltredici.com

When I told composer David Del Tredici that I had taken one of his courses at Boston University in the 1970s, he asked, "Which one? Was it my course on lesbians and music? The Gamelan course?... Did you write a fugue for me?" (Yes, very badly.)

So began my recent phone conversation with a composer who has been working at the international level in music for over 50 years.

Among Del Tredici's career posts is a lifelong obsession with Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Said fascination has resulted in a number of large-scale works by the 80-year-old composer, including his mammoth Final Alice, An Alice Symphony, Adventures Underground and Child Alice. 

"In Memory of a Summer Day," part one of Child Alice, won the Pulitzer Prize in music in 1980.

Ohio State University

Concerts @ Ohio State, presenting performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music at Ohio State University, begins a new broadcast season at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7.

These Sunday afternoon programs through March will be devoted to concerts performed in Weigel Hall and Mershon Auditorium on Ohio State's campus. Ensembles represented include the Ohio State University Symphony Orchestra, Men's Glee Club, Wind Symphony, Symphonic BandFlute Troupe and chamber music configurations from duets to small orchestras.

Robert Mann, a violinist and one of the founders of the Juilliard String Quartet, died on Monday at home in Manhattan. He was 97 years old.

When he was a youngster in Portland, Oregon, Mann dreamed of being a forest ranger. But destiny apparently had other plans for him: instead, he became a legendary musician.

Ben Shirley's story is one of redemption. He'd been playing bass in bars, clubs and arenas in the Los Angeles area since he was 15 when he fell down a path of drugs and alcohol. Four bottles of vodka and $360 worth of heroin a day brought him down hard on Skid Row.

It was at the non-profit The Midnight Mission where Shirley turned his life around in 2011. Now, at 53, he's an undergrad in The San Francisco Conservatory of Music's program of Technology and Applied Composition. He debuted an original piece, "We Need Darkness to See the Stars," earlier this month.

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