WRTI's Beloved Classical Host Jill Pasternak Bids Farewell to the Airwaves

We have some bittersweet news here at WRTI. After more than 30 years on the radio, our longtime afternoon classical host Jill Pasternak has decided to retire as of September 1st to spend more time with her children and grandchildren.
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It's a must-listen event! The top 100 jazz songs that you voted for, broadcast throughout the holiday weekend. Listen starting on Friday, September 4th at 6 pm, then Sunday, September 6th from 8 to midnight, and Monday, September 7th starting at 6 pm - and ending when the #1 song is played.

You'll find the list below as the countdown begins! Thank you SO much to everyone who voted this year.

The votes are in, and we've got this year's list! Join us, starting on Friday at noon, for our annual Labor Day Weekend Classical Countdown! It's your 30 favorite classical works on WRTI throughout the holiday weekend. Listen on Friday, September 4th from noon to 6 pm, Saturday, September 5th from 6 to 12:30 pm, and Monday, September 7th from 6 am to 6 pm.

The playlist for the 2015 Labor Day Weekend Classical Countdown will publish below in this post as each piece is broadcast. Have a wonderful holiday! And a big thanks to everyone who voted!

Sim Canetty-Clarke

A contemporary concerto by English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage explores the vast range of musical ideas a piano can express. WRTI’s Susan Lewis spoke with pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, the soloist who premiered it, and who performs it again on Sunday, September 6th at 1 pm on WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts. Also on the program is music by Rachmaninoff. 

In its own way, the annual Fringe Arts festival this month is as ubiquitous as the forthcoming visit by the pope. As The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, a thousand plus events are spread over 17 days starting September 3rd in venues throughout the Philadelphia area.  

Jarrod Markman: Theatrical in presentation, primal in execution, and psychedelic in nature, the resulting sound is comparable to that of a wooly mammoth...

A world-premiere recording of Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto released this year has won an international award. How can such a well-known piece be having a recording premiere? WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.


New Orleans can proudly be called the birthplace of jazz, but the city has also been a cradle for classical music. Opera was heard there as early as 1796. And just a few decades later, in 1829, the city produced America's first musical superstar — Louis Moreau Gottschalk.

The well-established soundscape at Burning Man is an audio layer cake of dubstep and techno. More than 60,000 people will gather in the Nevada desert next week for the annual arts festival — and many of them will spend their nights at post-apocalyptic raves, spinning fiery hula hoops and passing ChapStick around the dance floor.

"Eat, sleep, rave, repeat. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat," was the refrain of one song played all over the playa last year.

Drummer Jamison Ross: An Instant Connection

Aug 27, 2015

Jamison is the debut of a significant talent. Winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition, the singularly entertaining Jamison Ross is a drummer of enormous presence and an irrepressible bandleader, judging from his album release show I attended at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in June.

Jessica Griffin

The Philadelphia Orchestra has over 100 musicians, and as many stories - often inspiring and surprising.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Bob Cafaro, a cellist in the Orchestra since 1985, whose artistry is matched by his determination to live fully, both onstage and off.  

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