Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Yes I know, Prince and George Michael but they are globally appreciated and their passings are widely mourned. 

Here are outstanding figures in classical music, artists who gave, and gave, and gave to the benefit of us all, who may have had less reach but touched so many:

For Columbus and the World

Anne Melvin, philanthropist

Donald Harris, teacher, composer, 'Uncle figure' former Dean of the OSU College of The Arts

Bill Conner, Impresario, CEO of CAPA, mensch

Donald McGinnis, clarinetist, teacher, artist, OSU music administrator

...and for the rest of the world:

Pierre Boulez, composer and conductor
Phyllis Curtin, soprano

Gilbert Kaplan, financier and conductor
Denise Duval, Poulenc's muse

Aurele, Nicolet, Swiss flautist

Saulius Sondeckis, Lithuanian violinist and conductor
Ulf Spoderblom, Finnish conductor
Louis Lane, American conductor
Steven Stucky, American composer
Robert Baustian, American opera conductor and teacher
Otto-Werner Mueller, German born American conductor and teacher
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Austrian conductor

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, British composer
Gegham Grigorian, Armenian opera singer
Royston Nash, British conductor
Elsie Morison, Australian soprano
Brian Asawa, American counter tenor
Gustav Meier, Swiss-born American conductor
J. Reilly Lewis, American conductor
Alberto Remedios, British tenor
Edoardo Muller, Italian conductor
Maralin Niska, American soprano
Gregg Smith,m American choral conductor and composer
Einojuhanni Rautavaara, Finnish composer

Patrice Munsel, American soprano

Johan Botha, South African tenor

Sir Neville Marriner, British conductor

Peter Allen, Canadian born American radio announcer and past host of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts

John Del Carlo, American bass baritone
Pauline  Oliveros, American composer
Russell Oberlin, American counter tenor

Gigliola Frazzoni, Italian soprano
Karel Husa, Czech-American composer
Heinrich Schiff, Austrian cellist

60 members of the Russian Red  Army Chorus, killed in a plane crash

Thanks to the peerless critic, writer and friend of music Tim Page, for this list.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Books Read in 2016

Every year as a tip of the hat to my OCD nature I keep a list of all the books I've read.
This does come in handy hosting the occasional book show on WOSU.
Even better, I'm just nosy and I really want to know what everybody else has been reading. It becomes I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours.

So where's my list this year?
I've lost it (!)
New computers, new configurations, forgot to save some files, whatever.
OCD and senility.

But I do remember several of the titles that I Most enjoyed in 2016.

I still want to know what YOU have been reading.
Can you share on this blog?

My favorite reads of 2016:

All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Nearly a fairy tale in the beauty of the writing, but the depiction of war and he aftermath of war makes it vivid and troubling.

Moonglow Michael Chabon

A man sits with his dying grandfather and wonders ensue!

Eileen Otessa Moshfegh

She has no redeemable qualities but Moshfegh is a writer who makes you care about and root for Eileen 

The Heavenly Table Donald Ray Pollock

Great characters, completely authentic diction and locales. Another winner from Donald Ray Pollock. So much fun to cheer on the bad guys!

Patient HM  Luke Dittrich

Part memoir part horror story. A troubling page turner.

The Underground Railroad  Colson Whitehead

You ARE there !

Hillbilly Elegy J.D. Vance

What it is to be poor fifty miles from where I am typing these lines, where drugs are a way out and a death sentence

Evicted: Politics and Profit in the American City Matthew Desmond

On my ten page per day journeys in 2016 I read

The Pickwick Papers Charles Dickens

The Idiot Fyodor Dostoevsky

Middlemarch George Eliot

and am hoping to begin Tom Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again

 C'mon what did YOU read and love this year:

Monday, December 19, 2016

Classical 101's 2016 Holiday Programming! Merry Christmas***Happy Chanukah***Happy New Year

Late addition! The 2016 Lessons and Carols from St. Joseph Cathedral, Columbus airs at 8 PM Christmas Night on Classical 101..

Classical 101 presents the world's finest music "all day, every day"and all night too, and all through the holidays. Make Classical 101 a part of your family this Christmas, in the days leading up to December 25 and "all day every day".  We're proud to present local favorites: Columbus Symphony Holiday Pops, Carols for Christmas from First Community Church plus holiday favorites from around the world.

Listen locally at 101.1 FM or on line from anywhere, any time:

Here are some of our 2016 holiday specials:

Monday, December 19

8 PM Advent Voices: Advent is a time of quiet contemplation and waiting.  It's waiting for darkness to become light and for hopes to be realized.  Throughout the centuries Advent has been observed musically in sacred and secular ways.  Join Lynne Warfel for an hour of the most beautiful vocal music inspired by and written for Advent.

Tuesday, December 20

8 PM Welcome Christmas! The perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world's premiere choral groups.  An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries.

Wednesday, December 21

8 PM A Chanticleer Christmas A one hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices".

Thursday, December 22

8 PM The Rose Ensemble live in concert; Christmas in Malta The Rose Ensemble's celestial voices team up with a Baroque band to present this unique seasonal program of glorious 17th century music from Italy, preserved in the Cathedral archives on the Island of Malta, and now being heard for the first time in hundreds of years.  Imagine the splendor of the great Baroque churches of Venice and Rome, resounding with choral music as opulent and ornate as the buildings themselves.  Now imagine that same music lost forever in Italy but miraculously preserved for centuries on the Island of Malta. The Rose Ensemble takes us on a fascinating journey to celebrate these musical treasures in a seasonal program featuring lush harmonies, prophetic poetry, a tender lullaby, and shepherds' songs bursting with exaltation.  Joined by a band of period instruments the voices of The Rose Ensemble invite us to spend Christmas in Malta, and welcome the season with Baroque majesty and joy!

Friday, December 23

8 PM A Handel and Haydn Society Christmas:  Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America's oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston's Handel and Haydn Society. Founded in 1815, the Society is celebrating their bicentennial season, including their 400th performance of Handel's Messiah. Join host Cale Wiggins for this program featuring music from the late 15th century to the late 20th; a Christmas for all times.


10 AM A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: A great favorite, and a long standing tradition for our listeners, live from King's College, Cambridge

7 PM Columbus Symphony Holiday Pops: A Columbus area favorite, recorded in the Ohio Theater a few weeks ago. The Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Symphony Chorus conducted by Ronald Jenkins, with the Columbus Children's Choir, dancers from Ballet Met Academy and a special appearance by Santa! Your favorite carols, and music by Biebl, Respighi, Britten and our own Craig Courtney.

9 PM Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir


12 NOON A Chanticleer Christmas

1 PM        Welcome Christmas!

2 PM St. Olaf Christmas Festival

4 PM Carols for Christmas from First Community Church: Boyce Lancaster hosts this annual presentation from Columbus's s First Community Church, conducted by Ronald Jenkins

8 PM Lessons and Carols from St. Joseph Cathedral, Columbus with the Cathedral Schola conducted by Richard K. Fitzgerald (recorded December 10 2016)

Monday, December 26

8 PM Candles Burning Brightly A one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, with an exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities, and plenty of music


11 AM New Year's Live from Vienna: Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Vienna Philharmonic from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein for this traditional kick-off of the new year.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sensory Friendly Holidays: New Albany Symphony Dec 17 and More!

The New Albany Symphony offers a sensory friendly holiday program this Saturday December 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the McCoy Performing Arts Center in New Albany.

A 45 minute concert of short holiday tunes with lots of clapping and audience interaction.  Perfect for young children, those of the autism spectrum, and our friends with dementia or Alzheimer's. Includes cookies and Santa! Tickets $12, $15.

I'm proud of this excellent community based orchestra, lead by Heather Garner and Luis Biava, who have been at the forefront of introducing sensory friendly performances .

What do I mean by sensory friendly?

There are people who find too much sound, too many lights, a lotta of movement and stimulus hard to take. No such caveat for pizza or chocolate in my view, but for many sensory over load is a problem. More and more we are hearing of 'sensory friendly offerings'.

Locally, movie theaters at Polaris, Crosswords and Lennox Town Center offer films with the volume turned down, the lights dimmed not darkened and  walking around and  welcomed for those who find longer than a few minutes to be a long sit.

The Columbus Children's Theater has long offered sensory friendly performances.

Opera Columbus, Ballet Met and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra have all offered sensory-friendly performances, as has the Columbus symphony. Attach sensory friendly to any web search and you'll find untold riches! Perfect opportunities for kids and their friends who benefit from a little more show and a little less 'surroundings'.

And come to New Albany Saturday morning!