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

artist's webpage / http://katherinehoover.com/KatherineHoover/Photos_files/Media/KH%20c1970-3/KH%20c1970-3.jpg?disposition=download

When the award-winning flutist and composer Katherine Hoover starts writing a new piece of music, she’s never sure where it’s going to go. And she’s okay with that.

“You never know where it’s going to take you,” Hoover said in a recent phone interview. “You just have to work and express it and let it be and let it take you there.”  

As Hoover launches a career as a poet, she says working with words is much the same way. And she's okay with that, too.

color photo of bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and marimbist Matt Sharrock playing in front of beer vats
Claudia Hansen / Transient Canvas website

Hear Transient Canvas on The American Sound, 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday on Classical 101.

color photograph of a group of singers performing a scene of Porgy adn Bess
Princeton Festival / Creative Commons/Flickr

Eighty years ago, on Sept. 26, 1935, something happened on Broadway that had never happened before. 

Under the direction of composer George Gershwin and stage director Rouben Mamoulian, an all-black cast premiered a folk opera portraying the lives and times of a South Carolina Gullah community in music that blended jazz and other popular music idioms with classical music.

The work, Porgy and Bess, ​left people tapping their toes to some of the most ear-catching tunes ever penned. This week on The American Sound we'll enjoy some of Gershwin's timeless hits - along with some little-heard moments only recently recorded and reflections by Columbus-based Porgy and Bess expert David Weaver - in a program that celebrates the 80th anniversary of the premiere of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess6 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday on Classical 101.​

photo of Richard Smoot sitting at piano with music scores on the ledger
publicity photo

In more than three decades composing new music, Richard Jordan Smoot has seen contemporary music embrace every possible mode of expression and medium of presentation. And he hasn't just witnessed this profusion of creativity, he has contributed to it with original scores ranging from all-out electronic music to tonally based music for orchestra and chamber ensembles to full-scale multimedia projects.

"I guess I'd say my aesthetic is like the Wild West," Smoot said in a recent interview.

Ching-chu Hu wearing a lavender dress shirt
publicity photo

Water tripping in endless currents. Passion, love and anguish glowing red. East joining West in an exotic fusion of motion and color.  

These are the ingredients of central Ohio composer Ching-chu Hu's string quartet The Swash of Water and Red, selections from which will air on the Columbus Arts Festival edition of The American Sound Saturday, June 13 at 6 p.m. and Tuesday, June 16 at 7 p.m. on Classical 101.

Lau Kwok Kei

All this month, during Women’s History Month, The American Sound will feature performances by noted American women conductors, and online stories showcasing the conductors’ careers and accomplishments. Tune in Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Classical 101, and follow this blog as the series unfolds.

Sarah Hicks
Courtsey of the artist

All this month, during Women’s History Month, The American Sound will feature performances by noted American women conductors, and online stories showcasing the conductors’ careers and accomplishments. Tune in Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Classical 101, and follow this blog as the series unfolds.

When in 2009, conductor Sarah Hicks took over for the retiring Doc Severinsen as principal conductor for pops and presentations with the Minnesota Orchestra, even she said Severinsen could not have had a more different successor. So she’s not surprised that the Minnesota audience might have taken a little while to adjust to her.

Joann Falletta leads the London Symphony Orchestra
Courtsey of the artist / Joann Falletta

All this month, during Women’s History Month, The American Sound will feature performances by noted American women conductors, and online stories showcasing the conductors’ careers and accomplishments. Tune in Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Classical 101, and follow this blog as the series unfolds.

Many musical performances are good; far fewer are great. What makes a performance good or great? Let's explore this question with two recent recordings of Dmitri Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony.

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