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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

34. What does a Concertmaster really do? Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef of the NSO explains.

January 12, 2021

It's one of the most competitive positions in all of classical music. Learn more about the role of a concertmaster from Nurit Bar-Josef, Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra. She plays her favorite concertmaster solos

34. The life of Strauss Jr. aka "The Waltz King"

December 29, 2020

His music is celebrated today, especially around New Year's, and his waltzes are bound to put a smile on your face. Learn about Strauss Jr.'s life, his music, and a surprising answer he gave a New York reporter about his visit to Boston.

33. The Nutcracker, how it became a holiday classic, and what to listen for

December 15, 2020

This holiday classic has helped define the "Christmas" sound for generations, but there's more to the music than you think.

32. Beethoven's joyful Symphony No. 9

December 1, 2020

Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 was revolutionary, but if all you know is the "Ode to Joy" you are missing out! From it's opening notes to the final crescendo, join Bill Bukowski and John Banther for a musical deep dive into Beethoven's final symphony.

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.