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Classical 101

I Came, I Saw, I Schoenberged: New Music in Columbus


Yesterday was a blustery day in Columbus, 18 degrees to be precise, but you would not have known it from the atmosphere at the Columbus Foundation where the Johnstone Fund for New Music hosted Pierrot Lunaire. In spite of the cold outdoors and the brooding sound of the music, the crowd was boisterous. It was exciting, intimate, and it felt a bit progressive. There were grandmothers, great-grandparents, tattooed hipsters, even a few very attentive elementary-age children... and they were there for Schoenberg! If you are not familiar, Scheonberg's Pierrot Lunaire is more of a feat of endurance than a gentle afternoon of music. This was no Vivaldi. Olev Viro conducted the performance and OSU professor Sebastian Knowles provided the narrative; they were both energized and yet saturated with the seriousness of the text and music. (The experience reminded me of the odd joy of watching something like Twin Peaks or playing a serious RPG; it was a sort of dichotomy of enjoyment with uncomfortable subjects, perhaps a sort of catharsis. It was Schoenberg, after all.) If you are anything like me, you might be thinking: "Sign me up, how can I get more of this kind of music?" Luckily, it does not look like the Johnstones are going anywhere anytime soon. Take a look at their upcoming events below, and check out their Website and Facebook page for more details for upcoming works. Next up is the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's Happy Hour, February 12th at the Ohio Theatre. Like Pierrot Lunaire, this event is FREE and comes with a cash bar. (Classical101 host, Christopher Purdy will be hosting the event, so you can count on humor and great conversation throughout the night.) The program includes masters Copland, Gershwin, Bernstein, and Gould. Upcoming Concerts Personally, I am quite excited about the upcoming New Music at the Short North Stage March 25. Jack Johnstone has high expectations for the program which will feature some music by John Cage and Henry Cowell. March 8, 2015 Central Ohio Symphony Ben Goldberg Gray Chapel, Ohio Wesleyan University March 15, 2015 Greater Columbus Community Orchestra Rocco di Pietro – Prayer Hilliard Presbyterian Church March 17-18, 2015 Capital University RhythmFest Mees Hall, Capital University March 20-21, 2015 Columbus Symphony Orchestra Rautavaara Ohio Theater March 25, 2015 Short North Stage Music of Lou Harrison and friends Garden Theater