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

Dizzy Feet Foundation

Saturday, July 30th, is National Dance Day.  It's the brainchild of producer Nigel Lythgoe and director Adam Shankman, among others, to support, improve and increase access to dance education in the United States.  National Dance Day was launched in 2010 by Lythgoe, who is co-creator of the television competition So You Think You Can Dance, and co-president of the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which he co-founded with Shankman in 2009.  

Imagine violin students being able to go into a musical instrument museum and pick up and play a fine Amati, Guarneri del Gesu, or a Stradivarius--just to try it out to get the feel of it, or to see which one they like best?

Kylie Harwell-Sturgill, meme; Wikipedia, photo

What on earth do Placido Domingo and the Pet Shop Boys have to do with the the International Champion's Cup football, er... I mean "soccer" match in Columbus this week? More than you might think.

There are certain TV shows that become so popular celebrities clamor to do cameos and guest appearances. Julia Roberts, Tom Selleck, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Rebecca Romijn are just a few who made appearances on Friends. What does this have to do with Classical music, you ask?

The Metropolitan Opera

Classical 101 has insightful musical programming 24-hours a day, every day. So, tune in for weekend selections like Music in Mid-Ohio to hear musicians from our community, or check out the weekday evening shows such as Fretworks and The American Sound to hear the best music for guitar with John Rittmeyer, or Jennifer Hambrick's take on American composition.

Whether it's Classical, Baroque, Modern or Romantic; on Classical 101, it's bound to be a classic.

Some of those little quizzes that pop up on Facebook and elsewhere are for many a guilty pleasure. The ultimate Classical music quizGuess your Classical music IQCan we guess your favorite piece of Classical music?


On today's date in 1938, the ballet Nobilissima Visione was premiered in London by the Ballet de Monte Carlo.  German composer Paul Hindemith had visited the church of Santa Croce in Florence a couple of years earlier and was deeply impressed by the frescoes of Giotto depicting the life of St. Francis of Assisi.  After meeting the choreographer Leonide Massine, Hindemith suggested they collaborate on a ballet inspired by St. Francis.


Not even in the most far-fetched opera could anyone invent Florence Foster Jenkins. The only diva unafraid to play this vocal phenomenon, this leading light of musical society in the 1920s, is a diva known more for her acting chops and stunning looks than for an ability to sing Norma or Tosca; Meryl Streep.

artist's webpage

My late father was an amateur big-band style singer with what used to be called a "Whiskey Tenor" type voice. One of his great hits was a World War II era ditty called that went: They were doin' the mambo....what the heck is the mambo?

They really did sing heck rather than anything saltier on those U.S.O. tours seventy years ago.

Stu Rosner

Some years ago, I was given the opportunity to interview composer John Williams. Well, I got to interview him, sort of.

The Art Institute of Chicago

In late 1903, Pablo Picasso was living and working in Barcelona and still mourning the loss of his dear friend Carlos Casagemas. For nearly four years, the artist painted in somber, subdued tones of washed-out blue and sickly yellows. He even painted posthumous portraits of his longtime friend.

Gary Larson Far Side

Most of us have seen art exhibits containing originals by the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and other acknowledged masters. Owning one is something most of us can only dream about.

Musicians know the music they're playing very well, so why the heck do you need a conductor?

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame has over 2,500 stars laid out along 15 blocks of Hollywood Blvd and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood. Out of those, not even 60 are classical musicians. Some who are NOT there will surprise you.

Marco Borggreve

You might remember a great Southern Rock tune by the Charlie Daniels Band called Devil Went Down to Georgia. It tells the tale of young Johnny who is challenged by a fiddle-playing devil to a battle of bows. Johnny wins, he gets a golden fiddle. If the devil wins, he gets the young man's soul., album cover

Every week is concert week on Classical 101. Tune in to hear everything from Ravel to Bach with witty insight and conversation from hosts in-the-know. Here's a sneak peek of what's on the menu for next week, July 10th-16th.


Did Igor Stravinsky desecrate the National Anthem? Others have done far worse.

Captain Mike @MikeFincken

If you've ever seen a video by The Piano Guys, you know they like to put pianos in, well, difficult places. On top of mountains, in rainforests, and any other out-of-the-way places they think they can squeeze a Steinway into. I have also see the 5 Browns playing in an underground cavern. What I had NEVER seen was a piano floating on a glacier as a cargo ship least until now.

Wikipedia-public domain

Every week is concert week on Classical 101, but not every week includes the celebration of our nation. Tune in to hear everything from Ravel to Bach with witty insight and conversation from hosts in-the-know. Here's a sneak peek of what's on the menu for next week, July 3rd-10th, including special programming for the week  surrounding Independence Day., album cover

This 4th of July holiday weekend brings us the Modern Mandolin Quartet and the Texas Guitar Quartet with four times the fun of a solo mandolin or guitar.  Aaron Copland's Hoe-Down from the ballet Rodeo is given a rousing performance suitable for a barbeque by the Modern Mandolin Quartet and the Texas Guitar Quartet plays their arrangement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 with appropriate swagger, on the next Fretworks.

Boyce Lancaster

Today it’s time for a curtain call for someone who has performed her job exceedingly well, but who has scrupulously avoided the limelight. Most of the time, those of us on the air receive the compliments for what you hear, but we are only a part of what goes into your listening experience on Classical 101.

Barbara Cook is one of those singers who puts words and storytelling first. That's one reason why, at the age of 88, and confined to a wheelchair, Barbara Cook can still make you laugh yourself insensate, cry yourself a thunderstorm, or just sit and think and wonder when this lady sings. 

Jay Blakesberg

In a world where there seem to be daily stories about disappearing funding for the Arts, Kronos Quartet has a solution...give it away.

In a project called Fifty for the Future, Kronos Quartet is raising $1.5 million to commission 50 new pieces of music. It is elegant in its simplicity. Here's how it was described by Tom Vitale for the blog Deceptive Cadence from NPR.

This past weekend I went to my first ComFest.

I was interested to read in last week's Columbus Alive that ComFest awards financial grants to arts projects in the community. The weekend festival in Goodale Park is but one facet of ComFest's works., album cover

  Today is Anna Moffo's birthday. She is an American soprano, born on this date in 1932 in Wayne Pennsylvania. She died in New York in 2006.

Beverley Ervine is retiring from her role as Program Director for Classical 101 on July 1. Bev has been the behind-the-scenes “doer” for classical music radio for literally decades. She just gets things done.

color photo of the members of the Cypress Quartet standing outdoors on stone steps
Basil Childers / Cypress String Quartet website

Sunday afternoon the members of one of the world’s great string quartets will go their separate ways after 20 years together on the international concert stage.

Who Needs Reviews?

Jun 25, 2016

As newspapers continue to reposition themselves in a digital age, space in each issue has become more difficult to come by. Content continues to migrate to the web, as one would expect. Content also continues to disappear.

Orlay Alonso Facebook artist's page

There I was, minding my own business in my office at WOSU, surrounded by CDs fresh from the School of Music at The Ohio State University. I was beginning to put together a new season of Concerts at Ohio State, and at the top of the pile was the doctoral recital given by a young pianist I didn't know. Generally-and don't tell anyone - I listen to the first three minutes of performance intended for broadcast, insuring robust musicianship and broadcast quality engineering. After that I move on, until later. 

Not this time.

LeBron James is an absolute champion of the people in Ohio right now, and for good reason. The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally taken home the NBA championship and brought a resounding sense of hope and joy to Ohio fans and underdogs everywhere. 

In the spirit of celebration, here are 52 fabulous musicians who have also called Cleveland their home...52 for the number of years since Cleveland has held a major sports title, of course.