German music | WOSU Radio

German music

ccolor photo of Daniel Wnukowski playing the piano
/ wnukowski.com

“It was dark, unsettling. And it, in a way, kind of reflected my own family’s dark history.”

That’s how the music of Austrian-born Holocaust survivor Karol Rathaus first struck Canadian pianist Daniel Wnukowski when he heard it for the first time several years ago.

“This man was completely obscure to me, but the music resonated so strongly,” Wnukowski said in a recent phone interview.

color photo of the members of Alphorn Grüezie standing with their alphorns in front of the Swiss clock in Sugarcreek, Ohio
Heather Densmore / Alphorn Grüezie Facebook page

Ohio is not a state known for its mountains. The Hocking Hills, the Appalachian foothills and the state’s other areas of rolling terrain, though lush and beautiful, aren’t exactly the Alps.

But that’s not keeping growing numbers of people around the Buckeye State from picking up an instrument deeply tied to Alpine life, the alphorn, as a musical avocation. And it’s also not stopping Ohio’s premiere alphorn ensemble from appearing as the opening act in the 35th-anniversary performances of Merry TubaChristmas Columbus later this month.