Podcast “Classical Pairings” makes classical music casual and approachable

Butler professor Nicholas Johnson is teaming up with senior Corrin Godlevske to produce a new podcast. Photo courtesy of Classical Music Indy. 

NICOLE KELLER | STAFF REPORTER | nrkelle1@butler.edu 

Nicholas Johnson, Butler history and musicology professor, and senior marketing major Corrin Godlevske have teamed up to create a new podcast called Classical Pairings. The podcast is produced by Classical Music Indy, and the goal is to raise awareness that classical music is approachable and engaging — with or without a cocktail to go along. 

Johnson and Godlevske want to help bridge the gap between those who are educated about classical music and those who have never had that opportunity. They host classical music events that aim to be approachable and interesting to Indy residents with the addition of various types of alcohol. The Classical Pairings podcast is recorded at these events. 

Photo courtesy of Classical Music Indy 

Johnson analyzes music ranging from the 17th century to modern day. He pairs the music with the alcohol during his podcasts. Additionally, he incorporates Indy’s classical music community in the podcast. 

“First, I go and talk to the bartender or the brewmaster or the chef and sample the drink,” Johnson said. “But for this, we also bring in a leading musician somewhere from the city. We have had people from the Indianapolis Symphonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, the Carmel Symphony.”

Johnson has a specific process that allows him to compare a piece of music to the personality of a drink. 

“So when I pick the pieces, for example, for this concert, I am working on right now, I create tasting notes,” Johnson said. “For example, this Moonlight Sonata beer that we were sampling, is made by Chilly Water it is a Vienna lager. I wrote down words that correlates such as smooth, multi, not overly sweet, toasty…and then I try to come up with a piece of music that I think is smooth, multi, not overly sweet, and toasty. Which is ridiculous, but it is fun.”

The overall purpose of Classical Pairings is brought to life through Godlevske. 

“Hopefully through these [Classical Music Indy] events are fun opportunities to listen and learn about classical music,” Godlevske said. “This is for everybody; this is an art, this is art music that anybody can enjoy.” 

Corrin Godlevske is the marketing intern at Classical Music Indy, a non-profit producer and syndicator of classical music radio programs. Their mission is to empower the Indianapolis community by providing a platform for underrepresented artists and supporting local businesses. 

“We are focused on empowering the community with the power of classical music,” Godlevske said.

For Butler students under the age of 21, attending a Classical Music Indy event is not a feasible option because the events are often held at bars. However, students can still have a similar experience by streaming the Classical Pairings podcast.

“My whole idea was getting Butler involved and spread awareness,” Godlevske said. “I do not think many people know that Classical Music Indy is a viable option. It is typically $25, but for Butler students, it is included.”

Classical Pairings’ first episode is available for streaming on popular streaming websites including Spotify, Apple Music and Stitcher. Johnson plans to stream the podcast every other week on Tuesdays. 


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