Search form

Classical Breakdown

Classical Breakdown

Join host John Banther for Classical Breakdown, a new podcast from Classical WETA that takes audiences behind the music, making the classical music world understandable and accessible, leading to a deeper appreciation of all things classical. From in-depth conversations with local musicians and touring artists to observations and analysis of well-known compositions, Classical Breakdown aims to share the fascinating and entertaining aspects behind the artistry.

Got a question or comment about something you've heard, or an idea for a future episode? Let us know!

Recent Episodes

31. What is a string quartet?

November 17, 2020

Is it the ultimate test for a composer? Discover its origins and how this genre evolved over centuries with James Jacobs and John Banther.

30. Beethoven's triumphant Symphony No. 5

November 3, 2020

There's a lot about this masterpiece you may not know. Nicole LaCroix joins John Banther to explore its premiere and unique musical moments.

29. The life of Tchaikovsky

October 20, 2020

From his humble beginnings to becoming one of the greatest composers, explore the life and music of Tchaikovsky.

28. What is an Overture?

October 6, 2020

Is an Overture defined by the kind of music it contains or simply where it appears in a concert? The answer can change throughout history, and with musical examples, John and Nicole get into the details of this "bite-size music."

27. Rimsky-Korsakov's enchanting Scheherazade

September 22, 2020

Discover the musical details and backstory of a work that's captivated listeners for over a century. John Banther and Linda Carducci discuss its origins and use their imagination to fill in the musical gaps.

26. The life of Beethoven

September 8, 2020

Discover the life and works of one classical music's greatest composers! His life was full of groundbreaking music, but it was also tragic as he dealt with family problems and hearing loss. We explore the details of his life and listen to samples of his music, from his first composition to his final Symphony No. 9.

25. Season 2 returns September 8!

September 1, 2020

Did Beethoven do celebrity endorsements? How many beans were in his cup of coffee? Was he cruel, or just misunderstood? Learn all about the life of Beethoven with John Banther and Bill Bukowski when Classical Breakdown returns September 8. Then on September 22 Linda Carducci joins John Banther for a deep dive into Rimsky-Korsakov's enchanting Scheherazade.

24. Recommended summer listening

June 30, 2020

Expand your musical palate with music found in an attic in 2009, new interpretations of Beethoven and Franck, and an instrument you've probably never heard before.

23. Lawrence Brownlee on equality in classical music

June 16, 2020

Brownlee talks about equality in classical music, his experience as a black man in the world of opera, and what we can do to encourage positive change towards a more diverse future in classical music.

22. Haydn's lost cello concerto and its rediscovery

June 2, 2020

Haydn's 1st cello concerto was lost for 200 years and is now considered one of the greatest cello concertos of the 18th century. Dr. Greenwald tells us how music can go missing, we examine musical examples that set this concerto apart, and we enjoy a full performance!