Music Breathes, and a Clarinet Concerto Comes to Life

When the Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned Jonathan Leshnoff to write a concerto for principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales, the composer realized a connection between the clarinet and...the Hebrew alphabet. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder explains.

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Known for his work with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell and Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius was one of the most inventive bass players in music history. He is the only electric bassist in DownBeat magazine's Jazz Hall of Fame.

The symphony, as we know it today, underwent major changes from the end of the 18th to the late 19th century. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, two symphonies from two composers in Vienna during that time illustrate the range of the form.
 


Sonny Rollins wasn't really thinking about the formation of an archive as he went about his life and career over the last 60 years — as a tenor saxophonist of unsurpassed stature, an artist of active spiritual and social engagement, and an embodiment of jazz's improvisational ideal.

The Second Violins Are Not Second Fiddle!

May 30, 2017
Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Orchestra

A large orchestra usually has 30 to 40 violinists, divided into two sections. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with violinist Paul Arnold about the critical, but often unsung role of the second violins.

When John Luther Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2014 for his undulating orchestral piece Become Ocean, you'd be forgiven for thinking of him as something like the Jacques Cousteau of contemporary classical music.

Mozart himself never went to Havana, but his music thrives there. WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on a recent project of American pianist Simone Dinnerstein and a Cuban orchestra with ties to Vienna.

Credit: Opera Philadelphia

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston considers a question of operatic proportion, with notable librettist Mark Campbell.

Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Orchestra

A classical percussionist takes on the music of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has the story of a new concerto for vibraphone and marimba, arranged by Christopher Deviney, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal percussionist.


A leading percussionist loves the marimba, and WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder asks her why.

His set of three Gymnopedies are some of the most requested works (in different versions) here at WRTI, yet his output goes well beyond those. Erik Satie, the eccentric French composer at the intersection of modernism and minimalism in early 20th-century music and art, composed works that are sometimes dreamy, sometimes spare, sometimes quirky or fun or rambunctious, and sometimes all of the above. 

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WRTI Presents: Grover Washington, Jr. Reunion Concert on July 18th, 7:30PM

Featuring Gerald Albright, Najee, and Jean Carn at
Temple Performing Arts Center

Wednesdays, noon to 3 pm

Wednesdays, 9 pm to midnight

WRTI Arts Desk

When the Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned Jonathan Leshnoff to write a concerto for principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales, the composer realized a connection between the clarinet and...the Hebrew alphabet. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder explains.


Jan Regan / Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra is back from its debut in Mongolia, where planned full-orchestra concerts needed to be canceled due to a nation-wide financial crisis. Instead, a contingent of 18 musicians spent two days in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Now, the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks what this could lead to.

A New Take on Timpani

Jun 19, 2017

There aren't many concertos composed for timpani. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Maurice Wright has written a work that celebrates the instrument and its often untapped range.

What was the sound of Philadelphia in the late 18th century? As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Dolce Suono Ensemble is going to historic sites to perform music favored by the leaders of the new republic.

So, you want to know how vocalist Kevin Valentine is making it as a musician after leaving behind a full-time legal career? As WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston found out, it takes more than talent.

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