Classical Breakdown

John Banther takes classical music fans behind the scenes with interviews, deep dives, and analysis. Episodes released bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Produced by Classical WETA in Washington, D.C.

Episodes

  • What is a Symphony? Part 1

    What is a Symphony? Part 1

    Episode 4 September 24, 2019

    The Symphony has been one of classical music's biggest genres. But, have you ever wondered what makes a symphony, a symphony? The origins take us back to the 17th century with symphonies that lasted only a few minutes, and we explore its development up to Beethoven's blockbuster Symphony No. 9.
  • Alistair Coleman on writing music

    Alistair Coleman on writing music

    Episode 1 September 10, 2019

    Mozart and Beethoven were genius composers, but they wrote music very differently. Renowned young composer from Washington, Alistair Coleman, tells us what made Beethoven and Mozart different and describes his own music writing process.
  • Wu Han, pianist and cultural entrepreneur

    Wu Han, pianist and cultural entrepreneur

    Episode 2 September 10, 2019

    She might be the busiest chamber musician in the United States. Wu Han is in charge of several music festivals worldwide, has an intense performing schedule, and manages a record label. In this episode, she tells us about her early musical inspirations in Taiwan, how tragedy led her to another career path, where chamber music is headed, and even how to fix wardrobe malfunctions with a stapler.
  • The Four Seasons, how Vivaldi depicts the world in sound

    The Four Seasons, how Vivaldi depicts the world in sound

    Episode 3 September 10, 2019

    Poetry, falling on the ice, and a barking dog, there is so much to hear and discover in Antonio Vivaldi’s masterpiece, The Four Seasons. In this episode, we get into the details and musical examples with a recording that brings a fresh perspective to this work published nearly 300 years ago.