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early music

Andrew Weber / theearlyinterval.com

“I think of her as the Beyoncé of the Baroque.”

Two of the world’s finest lutenists stopped by the Classical 101 studio recently for a jam session. You might say there were strings attached.

Apollos Fire YouTube channel

Amidst all the excellent recordings that received Grammy Awards this past weekend, an Ohio favorite ensemble took top honors in an important category. 

Janus Films / janusfilms.com

It’s the kind of drama that, well, drama is made of.

Before Joan of Arc was immortalized as a saint, she was an illiterate peasant mystic who heard the voice of God, led the French army to victory against the English during the Hundred Years’ War and was condemned as a heretic by the Catholic Church and burned at the stake – all before age 20.

color photo of The Rose Ensemble sitting
Michael Haug Photography / roseensemble.org

It’s the era defined by three of England’s most dramatic monarchs – Henry VIII, “Bloody” Mary I and Elizabeth I. It’s the era that saw the creation of a rival to the Catholic Church – the Church of England – the beheadings of queens and rivers of bloodshed in the name of religion and loyalty to the crown. 

And amid all that, it’s the era during which England gave the world some of its most glorious music.

color photo of REBEL Baroque musicians holding instruments
Howard Goodman / rebelbaroque.com

Last Friday afternoon, Classical 101 really did go for Baroque.

Our crew went to Capital University’s Mees Auditorium for a rehearsal of acclaimed ensemble REBEL Baroque and two of the world’s foremost Baroque dancers, Paige Whitley-Bauguess and Thomas Baird.

Fior Angelico / fiorangelico.org

Early Music in Columbus presents Fior Angelico in concert at 8 p.m. Friday,  Nov. 17 at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Columbus. The program, "Spanish Songs for Lamentation and Rejoicing," features music by Francisco Guerrero, Alonso Lobo and Tomás Luis de Victoria.

Fior Angelico, a Columbus chamber chorus of 16 singers, has typically performed annual concerts since its formation in 2006. The early music ensemble takes it name from Fior Angelico di Musica, "The Angelic Flower of Music," a 1547 music theory treatise by Fra Angelo da Picitono.

Baroque Cellist Juliana Soltis
Teresa Tam Studio

There was a time and a place when the cello was the Rodney Dangerfield of instruments — it got no respect.

That time was the 1700s, and the place was France, where the cello occupied a lowly place in the minds of many. In fact, one writer of the time went so far as to call the instrument “a miserable canker, wretch and poor Devil.”

Things looked pretty bleak indeed for the cello, until one great artist pulled it up from the abyss, altering the course of the instrument’s history forever.

color photo of flutist Nancy Hadden
Gary Cogley / nancyhadden.co.uk

Flutist Nancy Hadden has lived in the U.K. since the late 1970s. Born in Oxford, Ohio, Hadden grew up in the Columbus area.

She comes home Sunday, Sept. 10 to present a concert in memory of her parents, Robert and Janet Smyser Fenholt, 3 p.m. at North Broadway United Methodist Church in Clintonville. The concert is free, and everyone is welcome.

color photo of Jeannette Sorrell leading Apollo's Fire from the harpsichord

Jeannette Sorrell, founder and artistic director of the Cleveland-based period-instrument orchestra Apollo's Fire, is one of the world's foremost conductors and interpreters of baroque music. But she's also much more than that.

"I am an entrepreneur as an artist," Sorrell said in a phone interview. "I think Mozart and Handel were also entrepreneurs, and that’s OK. It forces you to make sure that your artistic work is accessible to the public and will draw an audience."

Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire are making available their performance of Bach’s St. John Passion for you to enjoy Good Friday evening, 7 p.m. April 14 on Classical 101.

color photo of the flutist, cellist and violinist of Infusion Baroque playing thier instruments
WOSU Public Media

The award-winning, Montreal-based early music ensemble Infusion Baroque performed live in the Classical 101 studio this morning, and we captured the performance—and the dish about composers doing things they shouldn’t do—on video.

color photo of the four musicians of Infusion Baroque wearing black gowns and holding violins and recorders
Elizabeth Delage / infusionbaroque.com

It’s one thing to give elegant, award-winning performances of music composed by Baroque-era composers who were, as my Kentucky grandmother used to say, no better than they oughta be. It’s quite another thing to serve up the dirt about the composers, too.

Friday morning at 11, get the scuttlebutt on Sebastian Bach and hear all the jabber about Jean-Marie Leclair live on Classical 101 and on Classical 101’s Facebook page (we'll have a Facebook Live video so you can watch as you listen along). Montreal-based Infusion Baroque will be in our studios the day of the ensemble's debut album release to perform a preview of “Rebels and Rivalries,” a program of sublime music and all the news about some Baroque composers that's not fit to print.

Early Interval performing in the Classical 101 studio
Nick Houser / WOSU Public Media

It’s a watershed season for Columbus’ resident early music ensemble, The Early Interval. This year marks the silver anniversary of the ensemble’s annual Twelfth Night concerts and the Early Interval’s first season under new artistic leadership.

olor photograph of members of the Early Interval sitting at a medieval-style feasting table
Mary Barczak / Early Music in Columbus Web site

The halls are being un-decked, the goose is getting un-fat and that distant, dopplerized noise? Un-jingle bells. Time to mark the end of the holiday season with – what else? – a celebration! Get a sneak peak Friday morning on Classical 101.


The history of music, much like the early history of beer, centers around people who were passionate about improving their craft and making it accessible. In this podcast, I take a look at a bit of the history of early chant repertoire and how it relates to the development of everyone's favorite malt beverage.