How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Radio


Photograph by Anna Petersen; swan by Wang Liqiang/Shutterstock; cello by Cinematographer/Shutterstock; piano by Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock

You know how it’s kind of hard to deal with the news right now? Yeah, me too. Each week, my tolerance for daily news—with its ego trips and rotten absurdities—tanks. What’s a commuter to do? Bump the dial to 90.9 WGUC, our full-time classical music station (and NPR affiliate). It is an eye of solitude in the shit-storm of our current political news cycle. And it’s where I discovered my new favorite Cincinnatians: Susan and Adam Petersen.

The mother-son duo have made their respective musical careers here—Susan is in her 40th year as a Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra cellist; Adam graduated from CCM in 2011 and works as a pianist for St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church and teaches music at Cincinnati Waldorf School. Their recording of The Swan, from Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, is a sweet duet of cello and piano, and is the final track on a whole album called Swan Song that they recorded together in 2013.

What’s it like working together? “It has felt so natural and intuitive from the start,” Susan says. “The musical ideas and expression come so naturally that we rarely have to verbalize our intentions. It is a special connection that comes with a great deal of humility and gratitude.”

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