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

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

May 1, 2009

From a field of 225 applicants, thirty pianists, ranging in age from 18-30, are competing at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be held May 22-June 7  in Fort Worth, for a prize package valued at over $1,000,000.  Whew! Talk about pressure ...

I like oddities, those novelties that surprise and delight.  The world of classical music has many oddities, but one new addition to the fold recently crossed my desk here at WOSU and—as oddities often do—piqued my curiosity.  Sigiswald Kuijken, the middle of the three Kuijken brothers who for decades now have borne the standard for historically informed performance, has released a

Andre Previn turns eighty this year. His accomplishments as a conductor, performer and composer go back over fifty years and don't need a lot of approbation from me. I'm listening to his opera A Streetcar Named Desire (1998) based, of course, on Tennessee Williams' play.

The Fourth Annual Johnstone Woodwind Master Series

Apr 30, 2009

The fourth Johnstone Woodwind Master Series (JWMS) at The Ohio State University School of Music celebrates the oboe, and also welcomes Joseph Robinson, retired Principal Oboist of the New York Philharmonic and noted educator, as featured guest artist.

I've been having fun listening to Earl Wild's recording of George Gershwin's Concerto in F made forty years ago by the Boston Pops, which was conducted by Arthur Fiedler ("Ah-thah Feed-lah" as we called him up home).

Martin Inglis is the new Chairman of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors. Inglis arrived in Columbus in November of 2004, following a thirty-year career at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, to become Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Battelle. In this interview Inglis talks about his childhood in Malaysia, his love of violinist Itzhak Perlman and what he loves about Columbus (and Central Ohio). He also outlines his plans for a revived Columbus Symphony.

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.

Interview With From The Top's Christopher O'Riley

May 9, 2007

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.