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Classical 101

What I've Learned From Classical 101 by Request

Classical 101 host Christopher Purdy

“I’m Christopher Purdy. Every Friday afternoon from 1 until 3, I play what you have asked to hear. All you have to do is go to classical 101 dot org slash request and let me know what I can play for you on Friday afternoons.”

I’ve been saying that on air for the past seven years.

I enjoy every aspect of presenting music on air at Classical 101. I’ve always loved the request program. It gave me the opportunity to do what I love best. Connect with listeners.  What better way to connect than to play the music closest to them? Or join them in experimenting with something new.

I’m sad that Classical 101 by Request will air its final program on Friday, September 20.

With the retirement of my beloved colleague Boyce Lancaster, I‘m moving to weekday mornings 7 to 10. My weekend programs, Front Row Center (“Opera and More”) Music in Mid-Ohio, Columbus Symphony broadcast series, Concerts at Ohio State and Essential Classics (“music you know you know even if you don’t know you know it”) won’t go away, nor me with them.

However, if I’m going to be on air every weekday morning, it’s overkill to come back on Friday afternoons. So its goodbye Classical 101 by Request for now.

Trust me, we’re all thinking of ways to reinstate some kind of request programming. Just keep listening.

Meanwhile I wanted to share a few titles that were less than familiar to me, that I’ve come to enjoy thanks to your requests.

Old time college singer that I was, I’m surprised not have known (well) Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 2, the Lobgesang, or Hymn of Praise. Bill requested this, saying, “I’d love to conduct this before I die”

Ben wanted to keep us all awake with flair when he requested the Danzas Argentinas by Ginastera

Ben was Classical 101 by Request's best friend. He became a friend of mine.

Robert likes the grand and Technicolor orchestral palette of Rimsky-Korsakov. One of his requests was for that composer’s Piano Concerto in c sharp minor.


I love what Rimsky-Korsakov said of this work, “"It must be said that it sounded beautiful and proved entirely satisfactory in the sense of piano technique and style; this greatly astonished Balakirev, who found my concerto to his liking. He had by no means expected that I ... should know how to compose anything entirely pianistic."

In January 2017, Classical 101 by Request celebrated the 90th birthday of soprano Leontyne Price. I asked for your favorite Leontyne performances to play in tribute to her, and the requests poured in.

I can think of no better way to thank you for your requests, for your love of music and for your friendship than to play you this performance, requested by Jeff.  I play this for myself whenever the world seems impossible.

The distinguished TV commentators are in heaven now. Miss Price, in her 90s, is going strong. She was sixty-four years old here:


Some of my  favorite requests came from Abu Nasser of  Columbus. He wrote, 

"I transport Children to and from School each day. I want to put them in a circus mood today. If you could play between 2:00-3:00, we would appreciate it. Classical music does calm down children."

He liked Spartacus  and Entry of the Gladiators for the kids.

Thank you Abu and Jeff. Thank you Ben. Thank you,  Jim (your wife invited me to your birthday party), Robert, Barbara, Patty, and Bill. Thank you Connor, Elaine, David, and Daniel. Thank you Seb. Thank you all.

P.S. That this was one of the most popular requests is a happy surprise. I offer it here only because it’s beautiful. Keep listening, and thanks.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.