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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Longtime Classical 101 afternoon drive-time announcer John Rittmeyer hosts his final broadcast Friday, Dec. 29, before heading into retirement after 30 years at WOSU.

Jessica Lewis / Pexels

Where did the year go? While December can really pile on the stress with winter weather, holiday preparations, work deadlines and family visits, it’s also the time for some of the most sublime, glorious music in the cycle of the year.

As 2017 draws to a close, the music of Chanukah and Christmas reminds so many of us of our treasured holiday traditions. 

We have a full slate of special programs scheduled to air on Classical 101 this month, in addition to holiday editions of our regular shows.

Kristina Paukshtite / Pexels

Christmas mornings are special, and that's why I am so pleased to offer you a few Musical Christmas Gifts under your tree at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 25 on Classical 101.

Nick Amoscato / Flickr

As a kid growing up in Louisiana, you never knew whether you’d be wearing shorts or sweaters for Christmas, so it was sometimes difficult to get in the "holiday spirit" you see depicted in cards and commercials. 

No snow-capped trees, no children sledding happily down icy hills — no snow at all, as a matter of fact. We used to spray fake snow on our Christmas tree to create the illusion of winter. I can still smell it.

The one surefire way to make it feel like Christmas was music. Even if the air conditioning was on, you could still plug in the tree lights, crank up the record player (yes, I'm that old) and pretend people were bundled up and bustling around, doing wintry activities.

John Brantley / Flickr

My colleagues and I have each been asked to put together an hour of our favorite holiday music for broadcast during Christmas weekend.

I've never been any good at titles. Left to me, "The Great Gatsby" would have been called "Riding in Cars with Girls" or some such. I couldn't think of a title for Christopher Purdy's Christmas favorites — hmm, maybe that is a title — so Christmas with Christopher will have to do.

You're invited to share some time with me Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. I'll be playing an hour's worth of my favorites. Here, I'll tell you why some of these pieces are special to me.

color photo of clear wine glass and multicolored Christmas lights
BluEyedA73 / Flickr

The days are getting shorter, the cold is setting in and the holiday hubbub is descending on us like the Grinch down hillside in his overburdened sled.

But don’t let the darkness get you down. Join me for the Holiday Happy Hour, Christmas Eve at noon and Christmas Day at 10 a.m. on Classical 101.

Classical 101 Holiday Special: An English Pastorale

Dec 18, 2017
Max Pixel

What I'm calling An English Pastorale is an hour of music I've selected that I hope will suit the mood of the holiday season without sticking exclusively to Christmas music. Think of it as a brief break from some of the familiar carols and tunes we hear so much this time of year.

An English Pastorale airs at 7 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24 and 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25 on Classical 101.

susangraham.com

I was at a conference years ago when some of my radio friends tried to convince me to sing karaoke. I've done a lot of things in front of a lot of people...taken pies to the face, introduced dingos and bearcats to zoo audiences before concerts, gone onstage with an alpaca...but there was NO WAY I was singing karaoke.

color photo of the members of Alphorn Grüezie standing with their alphorns in front of the Swiss clock in Sugarcreek, Ohio
Heather Densmore / Alphorn Grüezie Facebook page

Ohio is not a state known for its mountains. The Hocking Hills, the Appalachian foothills and the state’s other areas of rolling terrain, though lush and beautiful, aren’t exactly the Alps.

But that’s not keeping growing numbers of people around the Buckeye State from picking up an instrument deeply tied to Alpine life, the alphorn, as a musical avocation. And it’s also not stopping Ohio’s premiere alphorn ensemble from appearing as the opening act in the 35th-anniversary performances of Merry TubaChristmas Columbus later this month.

cocoparisienne / Pixabay

These new recordings have brought me a lot of pleasure over the past few months. May they do the same for you.

Here are a few gift suggestions for the lovers of classical music in your life. (The recordings are available as downloads and, merciful God, as CDs.)

Sunday Baroque's 2017 Holiday Gift List

Dec 8, 2017
Courtesy of Sunday Baroque

Every year at this time, I create a list of suggestions for holiday gift giving. Starting November 19 and continuing through December, you can audition some of my recommendations from the annual Sunday Baroque Holiday Gift List.

All of us at Sunday Baroque wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season filled with laughter, peace and an abundance of good music!

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

The Southern Theatre hosts ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's annual Messiah sing-along at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8. David Danzmayr conducts the wonderful ProMusica Chamber Orchestra we know and love, plus orchestra students and local music directors.

And the chorus? Well, you're the chorus. I'm the chorus. All of us who show up are the chorus.

Jonathan Tichler / Metropolitan Opera

This past weekend, many of us eagerly listened to the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem only to have our hearts sink within the day. James Levine’s much-heralded return to the podium coincided with breaking news of multiple allegations of sexual abuse by the conductor.

color photo of John Rittmeyer taking at the microphone
Jennifer Hambrick

The afternoon announcer with the warm voice and the calm, gentle demeanor — on and off the air — will be signing off from Classical 101 for good at the end of December.

Classical 101 afternoon host John Rittmeyer is retiring after more than 30 years at WOSU. The friendly voice you’ve heard at the end of your workday, during your evening commutes and while you settle into your evening at home has been a steady companion for thousands of listeners through the years.

Joseph Karl Stieler / Wikimedia Commons

The series of all nine symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven concludes Thursday evening on Symphony @ 7 with the Choral Symphony. This great work wraps up what is regarded as the most influential cycle of symphonies by any composer.

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