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 photo of José María Vitier playing a grand piano
publicity photo

“Wow, I have never heard anything like this.”

That’s the reaction renowned Cuban pianist and composer José María Vitier says he gets most often to his Misa Cubana, a work for chorus and orchestra steeped in Cuban lore and reflecting the rich diversity of styles and influences in Cuban music.

small white cross in the lower right corner, before a backrop of Montana hills and open sky
Robert Falcone

Somewhere in Montana along U.S. Route 191, near Yellowstone National Park, a small white cross marks the site of a deadly car accident. This cross and others like it have haunted Columbus physician and artist Robert Falcone for nearly two decades, raising  questions about the fragility of life and the possibility of an afterlife. Now, Falcone, Columbus composer Richard Smoot and the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus wrestle with these questions together in an installation of original art and music currently on display at the Columbus College of Art and Design's Beeler Gallery.

The wonderful Antoine Clark is a Columbus based clarinetist, teacher and conductor. Antoine recently took some time out of a ferociously busy schedule to help me with a series of podcasts on African-American conductors.

huberman archives

The Palestine Symphony, today the Israel Philharmonic,  was founded in 1936 by the Polish born violinist Bronislaw Huberman (1882-1947).  

After a series of concerts in Palestine, Huberman "connected the dots" between the growing persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany and the need for a world class orchestra to satisfy the thirst for music by the settlers in Palestine. Huberman made it his mission to get government sanctions, to fundraise, and ultimately to staff the new orchestra with Europe's finest musicians.

Milos Karadaglic
Courtesy of the artist

The first track on the CD "Mediterraneo" gets your attention in a dramatic way right from the start.  It's Asturias by Isaac Albeniz from the Suite espanola, music originally written for piano but right at home on the guitar.  


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, April 17-23:

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat

Oscar Wilde once said “all bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” If true, then the poem Mozart wrote for his sister on her thirty-second birthday was steeped in brotherly love.

Metropolitan Opera photos

The Metropolitan Opera presents Donizetti's Roberto Devereux live in HD, beamed into movie theaters worldwide on Saturday, April 16, 2016. This is the Met's first production of Roberto Devereux, and stars Sondra Radvanovsky as Elizabeth I and Matthew Polenzani as Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

You might remember this classic commercial...

The most popular guitar concerto from the Baroque era must certainly be the Guitar Concerto in D by Antonio Vivaldi.  That is something of a misnomer, however, because Vivaldi actually wrote it for the lute, but it is heard more often in recordings arranged for the classical guitar.

Zach Koors and John Huenemann

Two of the most difficult aspects of composition are criticism and communication. Amplify those difficulties by the prospects of receiving grades or even a paycheck and future performances, and it's clear that being a composer is more of an interpersonal challenge than simply a creative one.

This week, I sat down with OSU School of Music student-composers Zach Koors and John Huenemann to discuss music, marriage, and their similarities.

It's going to be hard, no longer being able to call Donald Harris, or send an email with questions— any questions—about any music; he knew it all.

image of a color portrait of Mozart wearing a bright red coat

During Mozart’s life, many a pet dog and even a pet bird wagged and flapped their way into the composer’s heart – and, it seems, into his music, as well.

Jimmy Orrante, long time leading dancer of Ballet Met, has been teaching, dancing and creating new work since retiring from our favorite ballet company last year.

color photograph of Stephen Caracciolo and Lancaster Chorale members standing outdoors in front of a gazebo
Lancaster Chorale/Publicity Photo

It is a poignant reality that innocence once lost can never be regained. But the innocence of childhood can always be enjoyed vicariously in the laughter and tears of children themselves, and also in music and poetry inspired by childhood. Composer and Lancaster Chorale artistic director Stephen Caracciolo’s choral work Songs of Innocence brings the pure and distant world of childhood to life in word and song.

Sister Dorothy Strang
Flavio Serafini / Flickr Creative Commons

Angel of the Amazon, a new opera by Evan Mack, tells of one woman's journey from an Ohio farm to the Brazilian rainforest.

It is a story of generosity and an obsession lived to the point of murder. It is a story of justice and a strong, fearless love. It's the story of the work and the murder of Sister Dorothy Stang

Angel of the Amazon will be performed in Columbus on Saturday, April 16 at 1 pm at St. Christopher's Church, 1420 Grandview Avenue. Tickets will be available at the door.


Soprano Kathleen Battle's dismissal from the Metropolitan Opera for "unprofessional behavior" was front page news-above the fold!-in 1994. To my knowledge, Ms. Battle has not sung a staged opera since that time. She was fired from the Met after sixteen yeas and over 200 performances. Her long time champion, indeed the man who discovered her teaching school in Cincinnati,  James Levine, made no move to intervene. The dismissal was at the hands of the Met's formal and formidable general manager Joseph Volpe,  who declared publicly: Basta. Enough.

WOSU Public Media

It's time for the next bracket in the Classical 101 March Madness tournament. This round? The Romantic composers.

The Texas Guitar Quartet took upon itself the daunting task of arranging and recording one of Beethoven's most popular and dramatic orchestral overtures, the Egmont Overture.  

wosu public media

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, April 3rd-9th, 2016. 

Sunday, April 3rd: 

1:00 PM, Columbus Symphony Broadcast with Christopher Purdy

The outstanding Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos, who is deserving of wider name recognition, has a major award event to go in Copenhagen, Denmark this coming January.  He was announced as the winner of the Leonie Sonning Music Prize 2017.  

color head shot of compsoer Tom Vignieri sitting in front of a piano
publicity photo

Imagine a world devastated by war but renewed by the invincible power of nature. That’s what poet Sara Teasdale imagined in the immediate aftermath of World War I, when she wrote her poem “There Will Come Soft Rains.” And that’s what American composer Tom Vignieri imagined when, much more recently, he set Teasdale’s poem to music for two Columbus-based musical organizations.

LeAnn Meuller

Time for Three, or tf3 for short, proves to be hot evening of music wherever they perform. The self-described "classically-trained garage band" played Columbus two years ago at the season-ending soiree of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

color photo of José María Vitier sitting at a grand piano before an indigo blue background
publicity photo

President Obama’s recent visit to Cuba will by coincidence be the prelude to a month-long residency at Otterbein University next month by one of Cuba’s most celebrated musicians, as well as to the world premiere of a Cuban musical work and a series of concerts and master classes exploring Cuban music.

The Show-Stopping Singing Of Javier Camarena

Mar 28, 2016

In our jobs, when we're told to redo something, it usually means we've made a mistake. That's not the case for Javier Camarena. Earlier this month at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the tenor had the chance to retake an aria during a performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale because the audience went bonkers after the first time he sang it.

Lily Afshar playing the guitar
Courtesy of the artist

Lily Afshar is an American-Iranian guitarist who was born in Tehran.  She came to the U.S. in 1977 and studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music.  She's won many awards and is now head of the guitar program at the University of Memphis where she has taught for a number of years.

Mary Hoffman was long time Program Director and chatelaine of  WOSU into the 1980s. Recently, Mary "downsized" and gave me a box of reel to reel tapes of all the interviews she'd done on the air going back to the late 1960s. 

Wikipedia, public domain

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, March 26th- April 2nd:

Sunday, March 26th: 


1:00 PM, Columbus Symphony Orchestra broadcast with Christopher Purdy

Tchaikovsky  Symphony 4 in f, Op. 36

3:00 PM, Easter Sunday broadcast from First Community Church of Columbus 

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat

If you've followed The Mozart Minute, then you know that Mozart's stay in Paris was pretty much a flop. He had hoped to establish himself as a composer in Europe’s musical capital, but that didn't happen. And in at least one incident, envy and petty rivalry seem to have kept one of Mozart’s new works from being premiered on a major Parisian concert series.

A love for the choral music of J.S. Bach shouldn't be limited to Holy Week. Yet that's when I find myself reaching for the Passions, both the St John and the St Matthew.

Messiah, and any other Handel oratorio, I can listen to any time, "all day, every day." I never tire of them. I never tire of Bach exactly, but the Passions demand a different level of attentiveness and a deeper mind set, at least for me.