A Classical Thanksgiving on WRTI 90.1

Family, friends, food—they're all part of our Thanksgiving memories. WRTI brings you the perfect soundtrack for the holiday, and dishes out second helpings of music along with some very special programs in the afternoon.

Read More

It's a coincidence that Philadelphia Orchestra performances of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story In Concert are scheduled for this week, while the world is watching millions of people suffering in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Percussionist Christopher Deviney has long been drawn to the music of guitarist Pat Metheny and his composing partner, pianist Lyle Mays. And this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast features the world-premiere performance of Deviney’s orchestration of three Metheny jazz tunes into a Duo Concerto for Vibraphone, Marimba, and Orchestra.

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.

Credit: William P. Gottlieb

A romantic ballad launched one career, revived another, and became a beloved standard for generations of musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Thelonious Monk's " ‘Round Midnight." The work was recorded first in 1944—but not by Monk.


It’s the 20th Anniversary of The Bridge with J. Michael Harrison, which airs every Friday night at 10 pm. It's “the Bridge between BeBop and Hip Hop, and everything in between." WRTI’s Maureen Malloy reports that J. Michael has always set his sights on music that makes the listener wonder...“Is that jazz?”

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.

Classical and folk music continue to intermingle in fascinating ways. The intersections stretch back far beyond Bach, who cleverly slipped a German folk song into his Goldberg Variations. Later, composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Béla Bartók combed the countryside, collecting tunes from villagers.

Sharon Torello

Former Congressman Barney Frank was on stage at Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS concerts in Swarthmore, Haverford, and Center City last week to narrate a classic 1962 work in the style of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, but with a jazz twist.


Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, Oct. 7th, 5 to 6 pm. Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) is the “Father of the Symphony” in the same way that George Washington (born the same year) is the “Father of our Country.” Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and he and others generated the Constitution and other central documents, but Washington’s leadership was the foundation on which the country was built. Similarly, the symphony owes its early growth to Haydn.

Pages

Wednesdays, noon to 3 pm

Wednesdays, 9 pm to midnight

Opera on WRTI

Saturdays at 1 PM

WRTI Arts Desk

While Samuel Barber is best known for his moving Adagio for Strings, first performed in a radio broadcast in November of 1938, he wrote a lot of other music that continues to inspire musicians and listeners to this day. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with filmmaker Paul Moon about his documentary, Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty, which had its Philadelphia premiere in July, 2017 on WHYY-TV.   

Jennifer Higdon’s concerto, On a Wire, was inspired by images of birds, as well as the innovative versatility of the musicians of Eighth Blackbird, the contemporary soloist ensemble. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

How about a hollowed-out pumpkin as a drum? What about a carrot as a flute? Brussel sprouts rubbed together as squeaky keepers of the beat. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston learns about vegetables with a life beyond the table. Since its official debut in 2011, the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra has evolved, this year appointing its first music director.


Steak sizzling on a grill at Pat's King of Steaks. A chorus of birdsong at the Philadelphia Zoo. These are just a few of the hundreds of sounds composer Tod Machover is collecting from people who live here for a unique musical profile to be performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra in April.

It's National Alzheimer's Awareness Month. WRTI's Susan Lewis reports on a musical work commissioned by a man to honor his parents who died of the disease. The work for chorus, soloists, and small orchestra surprised even the composer in its power to heal.   

More Arts Desk Stories