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.

Explore concert previews, book and music reviews, arts features, web-exclusive playlists 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.

Playlists | Program Schedule

Classical Film Soundtracks

Jul 10, 2009

Programming at the Wexner Center for the Arts is always intriguing. Most recently, I find myself intrigued by the Wex's summer film series "Soundtrack Available: Music in American Film," Thursday evening screenings throughout July and August of a dozen or so iconic films with equally iconic popular music soundtracks.

(Continued from here) After catching Mr. Watkins playing the cymbals in his daydream performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony in the band room at Hillcrest School, Lenny Campbell had wanted to run straight to the home of his friend Jimmy Krank, to tell him what he had seen.

Joyce DiDonato Breaks a Leg - Literally

Jul 10, 2009

You've probably heard by now about mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato breaking her leg during a performance of The Barber of Seville in London with the Royal Opera House last Saturday, July 4th. The amazing part was she continued to sing after the accident, limping around on stage during the remainder of Act 1 and finishing the rest on crutches.

Update on This Year's Blind Van Cliburn Winner

Jul 10, 2009



Grofe's Musical Travelogue

Jul 9, 2009

HAS AN AUDIO PIECE AT END No matter how long I am in this business, it amazes me the wealth of music that is overlooked by orchestras and radio stations across the country and around the world.  A recent weekend trip to Niagara Falls brought to mind one of the many pieces written by Ferde Grofe about the abundant natural wonders in the United States.

Glenn Donnellan and His Violin/Baseball Bat

Jul 9, 2009

Glenn Donnellan, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra, has made an electronic violin out of a standard issue baseball bat. A baseball bat! This I had to see. Come to find out, Jim posted a video of himself playing the national anthem on his invention. I must say he impressed me with his performance and with his instrument. The sound reminded me of Jimi Hendrix's rendition at Woodstock. I think I'll go back and give both another listen.

A Mozart Moment

Jul 8, 2009

ADAM - HAS AUDIO ON IT Not too long ago I wrote about how good it is to take the time to really listen to the music we love, to give it our full attention.  We can't always do this, of course, or some of us wouldn't get much of anything else done. But in addition to those times we might spare an hour in the evening with a favorite work or two, we may still occasionally have one of those magical moments when what was playing on the radio in the background suddenly engulfs us in the sheer beauty of the sound.  Mozart is very good at providing moments like these.

From The Beatles to CT Scans

Jul 6, 2009

EMI, CT scans and The Beatles. Who would have thought there could be a connection between advanced medical imaging technology and the Fab Four? There was always something positive and life-enhancing for me in the music of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

(Continued from part 1) Even as Maddy and Katie were gazing at trombone-shaped clouds and wondering about the strange-looking man from the theater, Mr. Watkins was back at Hillcrest School grading math homework.  He shared an office with three other teachers, a tiny room carved by partitions and the strategic placement of furniture into roughly equal quarters.

Are you a parent of very young kids?  Do you want your children to grow up appreciating classical music and also to get dressed without balking, get psyched for bath-time, and actually sleep through the night?  If so, have I got  a CD for you! Piano Music for Children has star power.  It's a collection of great music in digitally recorded performances of piano rolls created by some of the great pianists and composers.

PROJECT Trio Blurs the Lines of Classical Music

Jul 2, 2009

I remember as a kid always trying new things (or at least things I THOUGHT were new) on the various instruments I played, even if Led Zeppelin didn't exactly translate well to the clarinet.  It might not have made my folks or my teacher very happy, but it DID get me to pick up my instrument.

Placido Flamingo Sings Like His Namesake

Jul 2, 2009

It's all Meryl Streep's fault. Truly it is. If she hadn't had a birthday last month, I wouldn't have come across a reference to her having a Muppet inspired by her, named Meryl Sheep!  Streep -Sheep. Get it? You would have to be a household name in order for the joke to work. Immediately I wondered who else has had this "honor." Many, it turns out, including Placido Domingo as Placido Flamingo! Placido Flamingo has appeared in many episodes, singing new lyrics to well-known classical melodies. I've selected one video to start you on your road of discovery.

THREE AUDIO PIECES   A new recording by the Ensemble Clement Jannequin features works from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century based on the notion of the "cry." Jannequin's Les Cris de Paris is on the recording, titled L'Ecrit du cri (a pun very roughly translated as "Writings on the Cry") as are works by other composers inspired by street cries.

Yuja Wang Takes Flight

Jul 2, 2009

I enjoy following the careers of up and coming stars. One of note is Yuja Wang, a 22-year-old pianist from from China. The Washington Post called her debut recital at the Kennedy Center “jaw-dropping,â€? and The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "The arrival of Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang on the musical scene is an exhilarating and unnerving development. To listen to her in action is to re-examine whatever assumptions you may have had about how well the piano can actually be played.â€?

Mystery Composer, or The Reluctant Count

Jul 1, 2009

AUDIO PIECE AT END This would have been a good case for the History Detectives. Count Unico Wilhem van Wassenaer was a Dutch nobleman whose identity as the composer of a set of six very fine concerti grossi was a secret for over two hundred years.  The "Concerti Armonici" were publish in 1740 and first believed to be written by the violinist Carlo Ricciotti, who wrote a dedication on the printed score.