Classical 101 | WOSU Radio

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 album 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

It's hard to believe that the Guarneri Quartet ("...has no superior on the world's stages" -New York Times) is retiring at the end of the 2008-2009 concert season after 45 years. Their final concert in Columbus is Saturday, November 29 at 8pm at the Southern Theater. Meanwhile, here's a chat with Arnold Steinhardt.

Michael Kaiser (dubbed by some press outlets as "The Turnaround King") is President of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. His book The Art of the Turnaround: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Arts Organizations follows five arts organizations as they struggled to stay alive through their resurgence.

Soprano Christine Brewer went from small town Illinois to the great concert and opera stages of he world. She still lives in Lebanon, Illinois, (population 3,500) and waited until her daughter was grown to take her opera career international. Today, Brewer is the soprano of choice for the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss worldwide, and sings Brunnhilde in Wagner's Ring cycle at the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine in 2009.

Daniel Catan's Spanish-language opera Florencia en el Amazonas (Florencia in the Amazon) is based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel Love in the Time of Cholera. Set in 1905, the plot revolves around opera diva Florencia Grimaldi, who journeys down the Amazon River to her hometown of Manaus for a gala concert. Along the way she yearns for a lost love, and entwines her life and her loss with her fellow passengers.

Osvaldo Golijov has been called the rock star of classical music. He was born to Eastern European Jewish parents in La Plata, Argentina in 1960. His fiery music is complexly original, at the same time using his South American and Jewish roots.

Opera News Features Editor Brian Kellow has written a biography of Broadway legend Ethel Merman (1908-1984), titled Ethel Merman: A Life. Kellow discusses the dramatic life of the lady whom George Gershwin advised to "never take a singing lesson," the star of Girl Crazy, Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, and Gypsy. Her Broadway life came up roses for decades (though her private life was less so).

Baritone Nathan Gunn's new CD Just Before Sunrise is a collection of standards by Jimmy Van Heusen, Tom Waits, and Billy Joel, combined with new songs by Ben Moore, Gene Scheer, and Sting. It's a winner, neither full classical nor pop nor crossover, but a new expansion of American song.

Christopher O’Riley is a classical pianist who studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. He has received awards at the Leeds, Van Cliburn, Busoni, and Montreal competitions, as well as an Avery Fisher Career Grant. O'Riley has made many recordings of classical music. including works of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jean-Philippe Rameau, John Adams, Igor Stravinsky, and Alexander Scriabin.

Norman Lebrecht is a widely-read commentator on music, culture and politics. He hosts Lebrecht Live for BBC3 and writes a column appearing each Wednesday in the London Evening Standard. Lebrecht’s latest book, The Life and Death of Classical Music, is a top seller in Britain and is published in the U.S. this week.

Alessandro Siciliani, Conductor Laureate of the Columbus Symphony, grew up amongst Italy's great concert halls and opera houses. He shares his impressions of conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957). Over a long career, Toscanini was Music Director of La Scala, Milan, the New York Philharmonic, and the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Toscanini's many recordings are well over sixty-years-old. Maestro Siciliani discusses his favorites among the vast Toscanini archive, and how the great conductor demanded perfection from everyone, especially during rehearsals.

Soprano Licia Albanese shares her memories of the great conductor Arturo Toscanini Mme Albanese sang Mimi in La Boheme and Violetta in La Traviata on Toscanini’s broadcasts with the NBC symphony in the 1940s. These recordings have never been out of print. She sang at the Metropolitan from 1940 to 1966 and continued her career for years afterward. Today, at 94, Albanese gives master classes for, and financial assistance to, young artists through the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation.

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, former staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about the fact that Ludwig van Beethoven hasn't changed: audiences have, and sometimes it's difficult to 'sell' classical composers to a live audience. [audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2006/MakingMusicinaModernWorld-Part2.mp3"] Highlights From This Interview: Albert-George: "I don't Beethoven has changed. I don't think Mahler has changed, or Shostakovitch has changed. I think it's the people who are listening to it have changed.

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, former staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about composer Aaron Copland, whose famous compositions he wrote in the 1920s and 30s -- including Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, Rodeo and Fanfare for the Common Man -- stand as the epitome of the American sound. [audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2006/Aaron_Copland.mp3"] Highlights From This Interview: Boyce: "Copeland really is the quintessential American sound.

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, former staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about how modern audiences are far different than those who listened to Ludwig Van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when the composers first performed their works. [audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2006/MakingMusicinaModernWorld-Part1.mp3"] Highlights From This Interview: Albert-George: "I'd love to do Mahler's Second (Symphony) once a month for our audiences.

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, former staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about Johann Sebastian Bach, whose fascination with numerology and theology led to extraordinarily complex music at times. Just how complex is too complex?

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