Gregg Whiteside

Classical Host

As one of New York City's most popular radio personalities, Gregg delighted listeners as WQXR FM's chief announcer and on-air host of the morning drive-time show for over 20 years. His credentials are lengthy - he is the former national voice of live broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic and the commercial voice of The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Former host of live intermission features for The Metropolitan Opera Radio Network, Gregg also narrated the PBS special Pavarotti and the Italian Tenor, Classic Views video magazine, the feature film Royal Kalibur, and the documentary Montserrat Caballe, Beyond Music. Gregg performed with F. Murray Abraham and George Plimpton in the Pierpont Morgan's 9/11 Memorial Tribute. The list goes on...

Currently, Gregg is the voice of PBS' series Keeping Score with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. He also produces and hosts the nationally syndicated music and information program Making Music in Monaco.

Gregg can be heard weekdays from 6 to 10 am. He is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts heard on Sundays from 1 to 3 pm. Sign up for Gregg's Sousalarm Club by sending him an email at Gregg@wrti.org

Announcement about selection of Gregg Whiteside as official weekday morning classical host on WRTI

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert
3:30 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert On WRTI: Lang Lang Plays Beethoven, Rattle Conducts

Sir Simon Rattle

Join us this Sunday, September 15th at 2 pm on WRTI as Sir Simon Rattle taps into an historic connection that The Philadelphia Orchestra has enjoyed with the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, conducting his final two symphonies without interruption, right after intermission. 

Before intermission, Curtis grad and piano superstar Lang Lang will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

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WRTI 60th Anniversary Limited-Edition CDs
10:54 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

60th Anniversary Classical CD Highlight: Puccini, O mio babbino caro

"O mio babbino caro," from Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, sung by soprano Miriam Gauci, with the Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Alexander Rahbari, is featured on CD 2 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

The soprano aria "O mio babbino caro" (Oh, my dear Papa) from Puccini’s only comic opera Gianni Schicchi, is one of Puccini's best-known and popular arias in opera. It’s sung with lyrical simplicity by the young woman Lauretta against a backdrop of hypocrisy, jealousy, double-dealing, and feuding in medieval Florence, after tensions between her father Schicchi and the family of Rinuccio, the young man she loves, has reached a breaking point that threatens to separate her from Rinuccio.

Here, she expresses to her father her love for Rinuccio, and begs him to reconsider his feelings for the young man’s family, threatening to go to the Ponte Vecchio and throw herself into the Arno River if she can’t marry him. It’s a very persuasive plea, and dear Papa finds a way!

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WRTI 60th Anniversary Limited-Edition CDs
5:00 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

60th Anniversary Classical CD Highlight: J. S. Bach, Brandenburg No. 3

The Margraviate of Brandenburg Coat of Arms

The Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 of Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by the Swiss Baroque Soloists, is featured on CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

The six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721 are among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era. The Third in the set is scored for three violins, three violas, three cellos, and basso continuo, including harpsichord. The Margrave not only never paid Bach for his work, but he failed even to thank him. This third concerto is a highlight of one of the happiest and most productive periods in Bach's life.

Even though he didn't call them the "Brandenburgs" himself, Bach still thought of them as a set. Compiled from short instrumental sinfonias and concerto movements he had already written, Bach re-worked the old music, often re-writing and elaborating where he saw fit, and creating in the process some of the most brilliant and enjoyable of any of his works.

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WRTI 60th Anniversary Limited-Edition CDs
4:21 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

60th Anniversary Classical CD Highlight: Wagner, Tristan, Prelude and Liebestod

Edmund Blair Leighton, Tristan and Isolde, 1902

The Prelude and Liebestod from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, performed by the ​Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Johannes Wildner, conductor, is featured on CD 2 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

There are those who feel, quite frankly, that the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde is the greatest piece of music ever written. The final climax of the music drama probably inspired by Wagner’s affair with Mathilde Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, is certainly one of the peaks of the operatic repertory. Here, before our very ears, we experience the beginning of the move away from conventional harmony and tonality, and witness Wagner laying the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century as early as 1857!

The very first chord in the piece, the Tristan chord, is of great significance in the move away from traditional tonal harmony as it resolves to another dissonant chord! For me, the anticipation of final release in that last chord of the Liebestod is almost unbearable; but, when it finally comes, the lasting sense of ecstasy is as spine-tingling and blissful as anything in all art. I dissolve every time I hear it, and ask myself, “How could any human being have written this?”

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The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert
6:04 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert On WRTI: Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, Sunday at 2 PM

Soprano Barbara Hannigan

Simon Rattle will be on the podium this Sunday at 2 PM for a performance from late May of Beethoven’s "Pastoral" Symphony, with its vivid scenes of gathering thunderstorms, wandering brooks, and breezy country sides.

We’ll also hear Webern's Passacaglia and three fragments from Alban Berg's shattering opera Wozzeck, both of which received their U.S. premieres in Philadelphia as part of Stokowski's vision for 20th-century music.

Soprano Barbara Hannigan, in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, will perform scenes from Ligeti's thrilling opera, Le Grande Macabre, in character as the Chief of the Secret Political Police. Her performance, vocally, dramatically, and comically, was one of the highlights of the season!

During intermission, Susan Lewis's interview with the versatile and supremely gifted Barbara Hannigan is not to be missed! Gregg Whiteside is host and producer. That's this Sunday, September 8th from 2 to 4 PM.

Detailed program notes and video here.

PROGRAM:
Webern: Passacaglia
Berg: Three Fragments from Wozzeck
INTERMISSION
Ligeti: Mysteries of the Macabre
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, ("Pastoral")

Simon Rattle: conductor
Barbara Hannigan: soprano

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert
12:18 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Jonathan Biss Plays Mozart On The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert Broadcast: Sunday, August 25

Jonathan Biss
Jillian Edelstein/EMI Classics

Join us this Sunday at 2 PM for Brahms' radiant Second Symphony, written in a burst of creativity over just a few short months. Also on the program is Elgar's spirited Cockaigne Overture ("In London Town") drawing its character from the sometimes bawdy urban sounds of marching bands, church bells, and merry revelers.

And...Curtis graduate Jonathan Biss returns to perform Mozart's rarely heard Piano Concerto No. 13. Guest conductor Donald Runnicles will be on the podium, from a wonderful concert at Verizon Hall in late April. Don't miss it! Sunday, August 25, 2 to 4 pm on WRTI. Gregg Whiteside is host and producer.

Program Notes

PROGRAM:
Elgar - Cockaigne Overture ("In London Town")
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 13, K. 415
INTERMISSION
Brahms - Symphony No. 2

Donald Runnicles - Conductor
Jonathan Biss - Piano

The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert
2:57 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra's First Live Radio Broadcast In 13 Years: An Encore On August 18th, 2 PM

Violinist Gil Shaham

Join us this Sunday at 2 pm for a very special treat. It's the Philadelphia Orchestra's May 24th LIVE broadcast of a concert tribute to the Orchestra’s former Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch. This was the first live Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast in 13 years, and a memorable event it was, featuring a performance by violinist Gil Shaham of the Brahms Violin Concerto. Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert
8:06 am
Sun August 11, 2013

It's All Bach With Nicholas McGegan And The Philadelphia Orchestra: August 11, 2 PM

First Associate Concertmaster Juliette Kang
Amanda Hall Studios

Virtuosic soloists from The Philadelphia Orchestra will be featured in five sparkling and propulsive works by J.S. Bach this Sunday. The performance is further enhanced by Baroque specialist Nicholas McGegan, who brought a fresh and animated approach to these familiar masterworks when the performances took place at Verizon Hall back in mid-April.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert
6:47 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Garrick Ohlssen Plays Brahms With The Philadelphia Orchestra & Yannick On WRTI: August 4th

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson

This Sunday at 2 pm, Garrick Ohlssen is guest soloist as Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, and two lush orchestral works by Richard Strauss, Death and Transfiguration and a suite from his opera Der Rosenkavalier.

During intermission, WRTI's Jim Cotter speaks with Garrick Ohlssen, and Susan Lewis sits down for a talk with The Philadelphia Orchestra's Associate Principal Concertmaster Juliette Kang.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert
12:51 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra On WRTI: Tchaikovsky's 5th, Percussionist Colin Currie

Conductor Andrey Boreyko

This Sunday, July 28th at 2 pm, our Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast brings us guest conductor Andrey Boreyko, music director of the Dusseldorf Symphony, and percussionist Colin Currie, in a rebroadcast of a program from Verizon Hall last March.

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