Rossen Milanov

The marquee at the Ohio Theatre reads "Stay Healthy Columbus!"
David Holm / WOSU

I‘ve asked some of Columbus’s leading artists and arts administrators to try to predict the future. What does the COVID-19 world mean for the arts?

"We will all be defined as the generation that lived through the coronavirus pandemic."—Rossen Milanov

"I have numerous colleagues who have lost so many engagements. They are in a period of absolute uncertainty and financial ruin."—Robert Kerr

"Live performances…will definitely come back."—Janet Chen

Joanna Frankel

While the world waits at home and our concert halls are empty, the Columbus Symphony broadcast series continues on Classical 101 through April.

With the concert season suspended, I asked CSO music director Rossen Milanov to select some past performances for us to enjoy again. 

Rossen's Choice for Sunday, April 19 is Joanna Plays Beethoven.

This is a performance from the 2018-2019 season in the Ohio Theater featuring Columbus Symphony concertmaster Joanna Frankel playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61

Rossen Milanov conducts the Columbus Symphony.
Marco Borggreve / Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Columbus Symphony broadcasts will continue through the end of April as originally planned.

While sadly spring 2020 concerts will not take place, this is an opportunity to enjoy some favorite CSO broadcasts from recent years. Conductor Rossen Milanov has chosen three performances to share with us.

This is "Rossen's Choice" for the Columbus Symphony broadcast on Sunday, April 12 on Classical 101.

From September 2017:

The 2019 Columbus Symphony broadcast season begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 7 on Classical 101 and continues through June.

The Columbus Symphony broadcast series returns to Classical 101 at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 1.

We're featuring the full line-up of 2017-18 Classical Series programs by the Columbus Symphony and guests, Sunday afternoons through June 24. Ed Thompson recorded the concerts in the Ohio and Southern theaters.

Columbus Symphony

The Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus present Giuseppe Verdi's Aida at the Ohio Theatre, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4. Rossen Milanov conducts.

I'm delighted that two fine local artists are playing featured roles: Brian Banion (Ramfis) and Robert Kerr (Pharaoh) — not to mention the superb all-volunteer Columbus Symphony Chorus, conducted by Ronald Jenkins.

This production of Aida will be broadcast at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 29 on Classical 101.

Elena Urioste with her violin
Alessandra Tinozzi /

Classical 101 has been the broadcast home of the Columbus Symphony since long before I got here in 1991. I was delighted to inherit responsibility for these broadcasts about 20 years ago. The recordings are made by Ed Thompson, and the broadcast preparation is by WOSU's own Kevin Petrilla and Eric French.

Join me and your orchestra (and chorus) Sunday afternoons at 1 on Classical 101, beginning this Sunday, April 2. You can also stream the broadcast online.


Verdi's Messa da Requiem is performed by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Rossen Milanov in the Ohio Theater, October 28 and 29 at 8 PM The choral director is Ronald J. Jenkins.

Today's podcast host, Will Waters, 16, is a home-schooled junior in high school from Dublin. His interests include fencing, rocketry, and music. As a school project, Will has prepared a podcast promoting the upcoming performances of Verdi's Requiem in Columbus. Listen here:

Ricardo Morales / Twitter

For all of us who (attempted to) play the clarinet, there is nothing more enjoyable than spending time with someone who really can play the clarinet. I wasn't bad, but let's face it - I am in radio for a reason.

Columbus Symphony Orchestra

It's quite evident that Columbus Symphony conductor Rossen Milanov is passionate about classic film scores from Hollywood's Golden Age. You can see it on his face and hear it in his voice as he speaks about composers such as Max Steiner, Maurice Jarre, and Elmer Bernstein.

Those composers and others are the subject of a week-long focus on music written for the silver screen the CSO is calling The Hollywood Festival.

WOSU Public Media

No rest for the wicked, the weary, the musical, the theatrical, the sleepy, the curious or for a Buckeye.

Rossen Milanov
Courtesy of artist

Last Saturday night a woman next to me in the Ohio Theater whispered about the conductor, What do you know about this guy?

Nice people always choose the most poignant moment in the music to start nudging and whispering, so I pointed to his bio in the program, and put my finger to my lips. When the lights went up and the cheers ended, she said Well?

I told her a bit about his background. I said he was clearly a very gifted conductor.

Colin Currie
Marco Borggreve

“I don’t want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day.” This was the sentiment expressed by Todd Rundgren some years back. For Colin Currie, he also wants to bang on the drum all day…and the marimba, cymbals, bells, and whatever else he can find. Such is the life now for a percussion soloist.

In a symphony orchestra, kettledrums were about it for ages. Not so anymore. With artists like Evelyn Glennie and Colin Currie around, percussion performance has taken on a whole new dimension.

Rossen Milanov conducts the Columbus Symphony.
Marco Borggreve / Columbus Symphony Orchestra

The Columbus Symphony performs Incantations a percussion concerto by Einojuhani Rautavaara this weekend at the Ohio Theater. Rossen Milanov conducts, with soloist Colin Currie.

The work was written for Mr. Currie, who gave the premiere with the London Philharmonic in 2009. Also on this weekend’s CSO Program, Brahms Third Symphony and Bolero by Maurice Ravel.

11 am

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra has a new leader! Bulgarian-born maestro Rossen Milanov will take up the baton starting in January, and he joins us this hour to talk about what drew him to Columbus, his commitment to music education and his priorities for the symphony. Symphony members will weigh in on choosing Milanov to lead the CSO.