Classical 101

Classical 101 is Central Ohio’s source for 'round-the-clock classical music. Our hosts provide insight into classical music news from Columbus and around the world.

Find concert previews, book and record reviews, arts features, and archived audio and video of local and visiting musicians. Listen your way through our podcast archives of Opera Abbreviated and the Mozart Minute for a deeper dive into the music we play.

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As I listened to Van Cliburn play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata this morning, I was compelled to track down Nobuyuki Tsujii, the young Japanese pianist who, along with Haochen Zhang, was awarded the Gold Medal in the thirteenth

In 2005 Tom Keane wrote an article in the Boston Herald calling for a recap of Boston's once glamorous theater district. I wrote him this letter. Dear Mr. Keane: I read with pleasure your recent column in the Herald about Boston's Theater District.  I was especially pleased by your mention of B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre, the magnificent theater Sarah Caldwell bought and renamed The Opera House in the late 1970s.

At one time or another, I believe all of us feel as though we could write a song.  Maybe you picked out a melody on the piano or wrote some lyrics that are just begging to be put to music.  Or possibly, you've already written a few tunes that you just KNOW would sound great if (fill in the blank) would sing them. Your chance is just around the corner, and it doesn't involve being insulted by Simon Cowell.

Anne Frank at 80 and in Song

Jun 15, 2009

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929. She died in the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in March, 1945,  only a few weeks before Germany collapsed and the war in Europe ended.  The Diary of Anne Frank was first published in the States in 1952. A definitive version of the diary, with pages withheld by Anne's father, appeared in 1995. Otto Frank was the only one of the eight people hidden in the "Secret Annexe" in Amsterdam to survive the war. He died in 1980.

Bach's Brandenburg Concerto with Natural Trumpet

Jun 12, 2009

Recently I played the 1st movement of J. S. Bach's 3rd Brandenburg Concerto.  Since it's scored for all strings, I thought I'd give you a sample of Brandenburg No. 2 with woodwinds and brass in a period instrument performance by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Note the natural trumpet, recorder, and older style oboe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jtk4ETAx8g

A Chorus Line made a stop at the Ohio Theatre this week and brought about one of those "small world moments" for a couple of WOSU staffers.

Picnic with the Pops Returns

Jun 11, 2009

As I drove to work yesterday, something about the landscape caught my eye, something that in years past had, for me, heralded the beginning of summer.  The bandshell was up on the Chemical Abstracts Lawn!

Exciting Classical Artists on YouTube

Jun 11, 2009

EMI Classics and Virgin Classics are building an extensive collection of promotional videos on their YouTube channels in hopes of introducing their roster of artists "up close and personal" to the millions of visitors already going to the site. Among the most frequently viewed videos:

It was a voice that betrayed its owner's devotion to cigarettes and gin.

Helene Hanff

Jun 10, 2009

It was a voice that betrayed its owners devotion to maritnis and cigareettes. "Honey," she would rasp into the phone, " Mel Brooks bought '84'. Can you believe it"? The speaker was author Helen Hanff (1917-1997) author of 84 Charing Cross Road.

Carl Nielsen's Double Vocalise

Jun 10, 2009

I was recently thinking about the beautiful sound of the wordless singing in Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14,  probably most familiar in the arrangement for soprano and orchestra.  It's always a delight to hear it.  I was going to talk about that.

When Bad Things Happen To Pianos

Jun 10, 2009

My thanks to BBC Music Magazine for calling to my attention to videos in which pianos have been abused. Wrong or right, funny or not, thought you might like to catch the action.

In December 1943, Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) conducted a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Inno dei nazioni (The Hymn of the Nations) in Studio 8-H at Rockefeller Center. Jan Peerce was the soloist with the NBC Symphony, built for Toscanini by David Sarnoff, and the Westminster Choir. The Hymn of the Nations had been written by Verdi for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

The Lincoln Theatre was the place to be last week as Byron Stripling and the Columbus Jazz All Stars gave the first jazz performance in the 1920's era theatre in over 50 years.  Stripling was his usual engaging, entertaining self, and was surrounded by some of Columbus' best jazz musicians...Bob Breithaupt on drums, Bobby Floyd on keyboards, and Chris Berg on double bass.

The judges of the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition have selected the competition's first blind pianist as a gold medalist.  I say as "a" gold medalist, because Japan's Nobuyuki Tsujii shares the honor with China's Haochen Zhang.  These players were the youngest contestants.

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