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

Earlier this year, Classical 101 and the Columbus Museum of Art collaborated for Portraits of Langston, a program featuring music by composers Valerie Coleman and William Grant Still. This weekend, Classical 101 is broadcasting some highlights from that concert.

color photo of the U.S. Constitution
Josh Hallett / Flickr

Democracy has been called the worst form of government except for all the others. In the United States, democracy is inextricably linked with the presidency, that august office which votes fill, which pundits punch and where the buck famously stops for the commonweal. 

color photo of Mark Lomax playing drum set
marklomaxii.com

Four hundred years ago this year, the first African people were taken from their homelands and brought to colonial America – thus instituting slavery in what would become the United States and inflicting profound wounds on individuals and American society that still have not healed. 

color photo of augusta savage sculpture called gamin
Smithsonian American Art Museum

All around the city, Columbus has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance in a big way.

As the commemorative events draw to a close later this month, Classical 101 and the Columbus Museum of Art are joining forces Saturday, Jan. 12 for Portraits of Langston, a program featuring music by two groundbreaking composers – one contemporary, one historical.

National Guard Bureau historic files / Flickr

The turn of the calendar year is a study in contrasts. As we reflect on the events of the previous year, we look ahead to the year to come, in all its shining possibility. 

Lisa Marie Mazzucco / simonedinnerstein.com

“I think that he’s kind of like the grandfather of it all.”

That’s what pianist Simone Dinnerstein says about Bach, a composer for whose music she has a particular affinity.

color photo of foccaccia
Matija Breads / facebook.com/Matija-Breads-798266626863594/

“I love, love, love to feed people,” Matt Swint said. “I don’t think that there’s anything cooler in the world.”

A classical string quartet covers a Guns N’ Roses hit.

Outlandish? Why, yes! But it happened right here in the Classical 101 studio yesterday afternoon, when Carpe Diem String Quartet stopped by on the eve of their first concert of the 2018-19 season – a season packed with a new concert series, a new performance home and a whole bunch of other new stuff to boot.

Courtesy of Adora Namigadde

WOSU News Reporter Adora Namigadde grew up savoring the traditional foods her Ugandan family prepared – including the lightly spiced Ugandan doughnut called mandazi. Namigadde says mandazi is at the heart of every family get-together. Seriously.

For Columbus attorney Stephen McCoy, bread means family. And not just any bread, but the traditional Armenian braided sweetbread called choreg.

And not just any choreg recipe, but the recipe his great-grandmother carried with her through war, through genocide, across two continents and in utter poverty to a new life – and a new family – in America.

Carl Van Vechten / Wikimedia Commons

William Grant Still is best known today for his Afro-American Symphony. Still composed the work in 1930 and strove in the symphony to – in his words – "portray the sons of the soil, who still retain so many of the traits of their African forebears."

William Gottlieb / Wikimedia Commons

On Feb. 12, 1924, George Gershwin gave the first performance of his Rhapsody in Blue with famed bandleader Paul Whiteman's band in New York City's Aeolian Hall.

Regina Fleming / morningsideopera.com

Harry Lawrence Freeman was arguably the most important African-American composer of opera working during the era of the Harlem Renaissance.

This weekend, a Columbus-based professional cello quartet will breathe new life into choral music originally composed for an art installation piece that explored the question of death.

Library of Congress

By the height of the Harlem Renaissance in the early 20th century, the tradition of arranging African-American spirituals for concert performance had strongly emerged.

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