The American Sound | WOSU Radio

The American Sound

Saturdays at 6 p.m. on Classical 101. Rebroadcast Tuesdays at 7pm on Classical 101.

The American Sound showcases a variety of the most beautiful, inspiring classical music with an American accent.

Each week we’ll explore masterworks by great American composers past and present like Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, and contemporaries Eric Whitacre, Michael Daugherty and John Adams.

Plus, we’ll go back to our American roots with George Gershwin’s jazz-inspired music, performances by America’s bluegrass greats and more. Think Bernstein with the Boston Symphony or Bach on a banjo!

Ways to Connect

color photo of balloons lifting house in Up
Pixar, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / YouTube

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the animated film Up, directed by Pete Docter, produced by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Set initially in Ohio, Up unfolds in dazzling visuals the outlandish adventures of an elderly widower and a young boy. 

color photo of Jim Graham watching the P-51 Mustang in flight in Empire of the Sun
Amblin Entertainment / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ekv_mUb3yuo

September 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of Hitler's invasion of Poland, which opened the floodgates to World War II. On this occasion, this episode of SoundReels looks at a film set in the later years of the war.

Adrian Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist.
Focus Features

September 1, 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the combined Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland, which marked the start of World War II.

This episode of SoundsReels explores producer and director Roman Polanski's 2002 film The Pianist and will take you back to that moment in history and into the harrowing true story of Polish-Jewish concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's struggle to survive the brutal realities of the Polish invasion and the Warsaw Uprising.

color shot of Megasaki City from "Isle of Dogs"
FOX Searchlight / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTfSg77jrJw

Writer, director and producer Wes Anderson’s 2018 stop motion animation film Isle of Dogs was first screened at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival.

Anderson won that festival’s Silver Bear award for best director. The film and its musical score, with original music by Alexandre Desplat, also received nominations for Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice and Academy Awards, among others.

color photo of Stephen Caracciolo conducting LancasterChorale
LancasterChorale / Facebook

“I call it real American music.”

That’s how Stephen Caracciolo, artistic director of the LancasterChorale, describes the program for An American Mosaic, the chorale’s upcoming concert of American folk songs, hymns, spirituals, concert works and popular fare. 

David Finlayson (left) / anthonymcgill.com, demarremcgill.com

Long before clarinetist Anthony McGill and flutist Demarre McGill launched coast-to-coast musical careers, the brothers were each other’s musical inspiration as kids.

color photo o Yolanda Kondonassis surounded by harps
Laura Watilo Blake / yolandaharp.com

If you think playing the harp is something only angels do, then you’ve never met Yolanda Kondonassis. She's in part the reason why the new harp concerto that Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon wrote for Kondonassis is anything but angel food.

color photo of Scott Woods standing in front of Streelight Guild building
Jennifer Hambrick / WOSU Public Media

It’s one of those buildings whose walls you wish could talk – an old house with wide windows looking out over a brick facade sturdy as the hills and a new unpainted plywood railing around the porch and leading up a few concrete steps to the front door. The unpainted wood tips you off that something is happening here.

color photo of Jason Vieaux
Tyler Boye / jasonvieaux.com

Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux calls American composer Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto “a stunner.” Vieaux’s new recording of the concerto with the Nashville Symphony is a stunner, too.

color photo of head shots of poets and composers in The Big SCORE
Johnstone Fund for New Music/publicity photo / used with permission

What would happen if you were to pair six poets with six composers and tell them to create new poems set to music?

Columbus will get the answer to that question May 22 at 7 p.m. in the Short North’s Garden Theater when six new texted musical works by Columbus poets and composers are given their world premieres in a free concert marking the culmination of the innovative poetry and music commissioning project, The Big SCORE.

Jack Gramann

You might be used to hearing tubas doing oom-pahs down in the basement of the musical range. But the world premiere of Columbus composer and tubist Tony Zilincik’s Tuba Concerto on Sunday afternoon might instead have you looking up at the stars.

color photo of anthony williams sitting at an organ
facebook.com/anthonywilliamsorganist/

It’s an unjustly neglected repertoire of music, likely obscured, at least in part, because of racism. Friday evening, one organist will bring some of this music to light in a concert benefiting a project to update the church building of one of Columbus’ oldest African American congregations.

color photo of Frank Lee Ruggles
Don Mears / frankleeruggles.photoshelter.com

Two and a half years ago, two people with strong ties to Delaware, Ohio, met each other when they were being inducted into the Delaware City Schools’ Hall of Fame.

Matthew Bonder

Two brand-new musical works – involving cutting-edge technology and offering commentary on subjects as diverse as a brassy night in Vegas and the wild and woolly world of social media – will receive their world premieres in Columbus this weekend, as Capital University’s Conservatory of Music celebrates its 100th anniversary. 

Dutch rabbits, Dutch tulips, Dutch cocoa, double Dutch.

Seems like everything is going Dutch these days – even the Carpe Diem String Quartet. 

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