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 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.

For many instrumentalists, the idea to "sing through your instrument" is just a figure of speech. But for Cleveland-based Ogni Suono saxophone duo, it's an actual way of life.

leonardbernstein.com

Over the last few months, during Classical 101's Bernstein Summer, you've enjoyed our Bernstein Minutes on-air and online, along with countless performances of Leonard Bernstein's fabulous music in the run-up to the Aug. 25 centennial of his birth. 

Alexander Kahle, RKO Radio / Wikimedia Commons

Like many people in the 1940s, Leonard Bernstein was a fan of actress Bette Davis. And, as Bernstein's conducting and composing careers skyrocketed, the feelings became mutual.

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