Johnstone Fund for New Music | WOSU Radio

Johnstone Fund for New Music

color photo of head shots of poets and composers in The Big SCORE
Johnstone Fund for New Music/publicity photo / used with permission

What would happen if you were to pair six poets with six composers and tell them to create new poems set to music?

Columbus will get the answer to that question May 22 at 7 p.m. in the Short North’s Garden Theater when six new texted musical works by Columbus poets and composers are given their world premieres in a free concert marking the culmination of the innovative poetry and music commissioning project, The Big SCORE.

Jolesch Enterprises /

What started with the chatter of nonsense syllables and virtuosic pitter-pattering on an exotic hand drum ended with an upside-down snare drum and the otherworldly sounds of a recorded phone call.

Wednesday's preview in the Classical 101 studios of Cameron Leach's solo electroacoustic percussion concert ELISION wasn't just drumming. It was a sight to behold, a sound to take in and an event that only begins to describe what this Saturday's ELISION concert is all about.

Cameron Leach performs ELISION at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Columbus Performing Arts Center's Van Fleet Theatre. The concert is supported by the Johnstone Fund for New Music. Admission is free.

color photograph of Bridget Kibbey wearing black sitting at her harp
publicity photo /

It’s one of those great ironies that international harp soloist Bridget Kibbey might not be the rising star she is today had she not grown up in Ohio.

"Blues in August" Facebook event page

"...That each whisper of wind moved to mute song & singing make a world of silence." 

The words of playwrite and poet August Wilson have a certain sorcery to them; the power and freedom of sharing ones' story. With this as inspiration, Dr. Mark Lomax, II has married Wilson's gifted narratives to music for tomorrow night's premiere Blues in August.

Sincere thanks to the composer's family for permission to use these images.

One of the most satisfying aspects of a good concert can be the visceral impact of seeing other everyday people, some of whom you personally know, perform onstage. It sounds so simple, but the mystique of the performer can often obscure the empathy and sincerity of their performance.

The Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble, aka CODE, does a fantastic job of stripping away the affectations that keep listeners at bay while providing very new and exciting musical experiences. In essence, they know how to keep it real.

"Musical Tea: Modern Chamber Works by the Camarata Trio" is the full title of the upcoming Johnstone Fund for New Music concert. The program boasts works by composers such as Arvo Pärt and Leonard Bernstein, performed by three musicians of the Columbus Symphony who are also noteworthy Central Ohio music educators. As if that is not enough to peak your interest, as always, the concert is free of charge and open to the public.

Courtsey of the artist

They look like a cross between jazz players and Brooklynites out on the town, but the trio Bearthoven also has serious conservatory training and a strong rudder in the tides of New Music.

The NYC-based ensemble is coming home to Columbus for a concert Wednesday at Short North Stage, free to all courtesy of the Johnstone Fund for New Music. So, I thought I'd get to know the guys behind the bear masks  before they take the stage. 

Carol Friedman

OK...they actually walked into a recording studio, but that doesn't make as good of a headline.

Michael Rene Torres, Executive Director C.O.D.E ensemble

It has become common practice to shop and eat local. But what about listening local?

The Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble has joined forces with Wild Goose Creative to bring a free concert of 'Ohio Made' music to the public this Saturday afternoon. The entire program focuses on New Music made here, in the capital city, and they are encouraging the public to come as you are, 4:00 PM Saturday.

color photo of bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and marimbist Matt Sharrock playing in front of beer vats
Claudia Hansen / Transient Canvas website

Hear Transient Canvas on The American Sound, 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday on Classical 101.

The cool kids are coming home to Columbus from Brooklyn and Seattle these days, and the members of the art-rock band/new music ensemble/avant-garde trio, Tigue are on their way this week.


The Johnstone Fund for New Music presents Olivier Messiaen’s Hawari, with Liz Pearse, soprano and Karl Larson, piano, Wednesday, May 27 at 7pm at the Short North Stage. 

Robert Mugge's 1976 film GEORGE CRUMB: VOICE OF THE WHALE

Columbus's New Music ensemble C.O.D.E. will be presenting their inaugural concert this Wednesday at the Short North Stage, free of charge. Their program can really only be described as Relevant, Accessible, and Local. George Crumb's Vox Balaenae, is the program's "big fish." 

Music walk around a fountain with pictures on John Cage on a sign
Steve Bowbrick / Flickr

This week marks the end of RhythmFest and the performance of the much anticipated California Mavericks.

Since the Johnstone Fund for New Music and New Music at Short North Stage have invited all of Columbus for another free performance, it seems necessary to give a bit of background about the music on the program for Wednesday’s concert. It is certainly not an event to miss whether you are familiar with the music of Lou Harrison, John Cage, and Henry Cowell or not, but a little historical context always helps.

Colin Currie
Marco Borggreve

Watch out, Columbus, our new music scene is pretty hot right now.

On the heels of Denison’s fabulous TUTTI Festival, Capital University and the Johnstone Fund for New Music will be presenting quite the line-up of events next week.

Capital’s Conservatory of Music is preparing for RhythmFest March 17-27 with New Music at the Short North presenting the ‘California Mavericks’ program on March 25.