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.

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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.

ADAM - TWO AUDIO PIECES Pianists have flocked to Fort Worth like swallows to Capistrano.  Nearly everywhere, it seems, the ivories are being tickled.  Tensions are running high in the desert. Must be time for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

ADAM - TWO AUDIO PIECES This year is the fiftieth birthday of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.  As you might imagine, the museum is mounting an exhibition in celebration of the work of its architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who died at the age of 92 six months before it opened.

Old Versus New, Or Vice Versa?

Jun 5, 2009

ADAM - TWO AUDIO PIECES These days when we hear Vivaldi, Bach, or Handel in recordings, we're more likely than not to hear a period instrument performance.  This usually refers either to restored instruments of the 18th century or earlier--depending on the music--or to modern reproductions made to duplicate their  sound and appearance as much as possible.

Sherlock Holmes Was a Violinist Extraordinaire

Jun 5, 2009

True confession time. Until this morning, I didn't know Sherlock Holmes played the violin. I know! (Do I hear a collective gasp of disbelief?) Guess I just never got around to reading the books or watching the movies, but now that I DO know, I'm eager to learn more. Here are a few tidbits I came across through a quick online search:

The Role Music Could Play in the Lives of our Children

Jun 4, 2009

Two stories caught my eye recently: One is an increasingly familiar tale of the lack of music instruction in our schools: Why Are Americans Disappearing from the Classical Music Scene? The other is about the role music COULD play in our lives and the lives of our children, if only those who control the purse strings and make the decisions would listen: A Crescendo in the West Bank The

A Controversy in Chicago Opera Over a Filthy Word

Jun 4, 2009

The only constant is change.

When I was growing up, growing your hair out was a harmless form of rebellion designed to irritate the adults in our lives. Slang had the same effect. And music? "Noise" was what most over 30 would call Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, AC/DC. It changes as you get older and have to work in the very society whose nose you wanted to tweak. Question authority became push the envelope, think outside the box - but within some pretty well-defined borders.

ADAM -I THINK THIS ALREADY PART OF THE ARTS BLOG (AND IF IT ISN'T, IT SHOULD BE) I've been going around talking with our arts leaders about how the lousy economy is impacting what they do and how they are all coping. Symphony, opera, ballet, GCAC, OAC. You can find these pieces over on - click on arts and culture. Here's Barbara Zuck, Columbus Dispatch Arts Diva and radio/horse farm chatelaine talking with me yesterday - her take on The Arts in Columbus in the Current (Crummy) Economy. [audio:christopher_and_zuck.mp3]  

Mozart's Requiem for JFK

Jun 4, 2009

ADAM- HAS A 10-MINUTE AUDIO PIECE [caption id="attachment_1797" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Jacqueline Kennedy with Cardinal Cushing"][/caption] Mozart's Requiem was sung in context of a High Requiem Mass celebrated by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston on January 19, 1964. Erich Leinsdorf conducted the Boston Symphony and the Chorus ProMusica (Alfred Nash Patterson, conductor).

ADAM -  HAS AUDIO [caption id="attachment_1805" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Anita Cerquetti"][/caption] Italian soprano Anita Cerquetti (b. 1931) had a nine year career that ended in 1960. Why her career was so short has been argued about ever since. There seems no definitive answer, and the lady herself, alive, well and gregarious in Rome, isn't saying. The point is that by the time she was thirty she had retired from the stage. What a loss! Listen to this large, warm Italianate voice.

HAS AUDIO PIECE   I ran across a recording of Eric Whitacre and David Noroña's What If today.

Study Shows That Singing Is Up, But Choir Programs Are Not

Jun 2, 2009

According to a new study just released by Chorus America, an estimated 32.5 million adults sing in choruses today, vs. an estimated 23.5 million in 2003. When children are included in the tally, the number rises to 42.6 million. This means more than 1 out of every 5 households has at least one family member singing, making this the most popular art form for both adults and children.  On the face of it, this sounds great, doesn't it? Yet, there is reason for concern.

Big Breaks for Bernstein and Toscanini

Jun 2, 2009

Leonard Bernstein and Arturo Toscanini are two of the giants in the world of classical music.  They were a couple of generations apart in age, but they both had huge international careers,  and they both became the first "super-stars" of conducting in the United States. They also increased the audience for classical music in this country more than anyone else before or after them.

ADAM: THERE'S AUDIO ON THIS PIECE... Dr. Harvey Friedman is Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science, Philosophy and Music at The Ohio State University. Dr. Friedman uses a technique he calls Digital Sculpting to reproduce piano performances available at first only to him, in his head. Dr.

Healing the Divide Concert for Peace and Reconciliation

May 29, 2009

One of the more interesting concerts I ever attended was in New York City at Lincoln Center in September of 2003.  Healing the Divide Concert for Peace and Reconciliation gathered together a truly eclectic group of musicians from around the world for a unique event.  They included: Philip Glass, The Kronos Quartet, flutists Nawang Khechog and R.