Jill Pasternak

Classical Host

Jill joined WRTI in 1997 after working at the former WFLN for ten years. Her background is impressive: she's a professional harpist, a graduate of The Juilliard School of Music, and a former Fulbright Scholar.

As staff harpist at Radio City Music Hall, and with the City Center Ballet in New York, Jill performed with numerous symphonic and chamber ensembles in recordings, on radio, and on Broadway. She also worked for the Rockefeller Foundation developing the New World Records label, and was an assistant editor for Stereo Review magazine and Nonesuch Records. Her work as a writer and producer of training videos led Jill to earn a graduate degree in public media and also to start hosting at classical radio stations including WMHT-FM in Schenectady, N.Y., and WQXR in New York City.

Along with varied speaking engagements, Jill continues to "harp" on all things musical in the Delaware Valley. She is the proud mother of a son, an international businessman, and a daughter, a professional chef.

Jill can be heard weekdays from 2 to 6 pm, and on Crossover on Saturdays from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. 

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Crossover
8:10 am
Sat February 15, 2014

High-Level Singing: French Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky

Most professional singers of any success sing at a high-level of performance. The voice of a countertenor demands even higher levels of performance, if only because his register is so high.  

Then there's Philippe Jaroussky. The highs he hits are a triple-play: an angelic castrato-like voice, a high-level of performance, and quite a few awards to complement the package.

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Crossover
3:52 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Legrand, Michel, Brosse and a World Premiere for Harp

Harpist Catherine Michel performs with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia on Feb. 9, 10 and 11.

It's not often that we hear about a work for harp getting its world premiere. So it's rather special when it does happen. And, when the work is a harp concerto by Michel Legrand - well, that kicks it up a notch. Add to that, world-renowned harpist Catherine Michel as soloist, and you have a blockbuster. Couple that with Dirk Brosse and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia accompanying Ms. Michel and you have a spectacular musical event.

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Crossover
5:36 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Like Father Like Son: Violinist Michael Ludwig Leads His Father's Orchestra on Jan. 26th

Violinist Michael Ludwig

The relationship of children to parents is not an easy thing to explain. Suffice it to say, we are products of our home environment and we can often give credit to parents for steering their children into the paths that may lead them to the proper education which in turn can result in satisfying intellectual achievement. and perhaps even professional success.

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Crossover
4:02 am
Sat January 11, 2014

The Unassuming Virtuoso: Pianist Jeffrey Biegel

There's just something about pianist Jeffrey Biegel that strikes you as, well, different.  A virtuoso among those of the highest caliber, he's also incredibly modest and unassuming.  In some ways, just the guy next door.  You'd never know you were in the company of greatness...until he starts playing.  Then you know just who and what you're dealing with.

One of Steinway and Sons' first recording artists, Mr. Biegel has just released his third CD with the label, A Grand Romance.  Listening to the CD takes you back to a time when virtuoso pianists would "romance" their audiences with something other than the most serious of works.  It was a time when lighthearted sentiment, charm and technical prowess came together to woo the listener with pure entertainment.

Considered one of the great pianists of our time, Jeffrey Biegel has created a multi-faceted career as a pianist, recording artist, composer and arranger. His electrifying technique and mesmerizing touch have received critical acclaim and garner praise worldwide. Born a second-generation American, Mr. Biegel's roots are of Russian and Austrian heritage. Until the age of three, Mr. Biegel could neither hear nor speak, until corrected by surgery. The 'reverse Beethoven' phenomenon can explain Mr. Biegel's life in music, having heard only vibrations in his formative years.

In 1985, Leonard Bernstein said of Mr. Biegel, "He is a splendid musician and a brilliant performer." These comments helped to launch his 1986 New York recital debut, as the recipient of the coveted Juilliard William Petschek Piano Debut Award, in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' Alice Tully Hall. He has been heard in recital in New York, Boston, Washington DC, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Cincinnati, London, Paris, Tokyo, Oslo, Mexico City, plus a multi-city tour of Norway.

Jeffrey Biegel was the unanimous recipient of the prestigious First Grand Prize in the 1989 Marguerite Long International Piano Competition and the First Prize in the 1985 William Kapell/University of Maryland International Piano Competition. He studied at The Juilliard School with the legendary artist/teacher Adele Marcus. He made his New York orchestral debut performing Prokofiev's 'Concerto no. 2 in g minor' with the Juilliard Philharmonia, in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.

Listen for Jill's conversation with pianist Jeffrey Biegel, and music from his new Steinway and Sons' CD, A Grand Romance, on Crossover, Saturday morning at 11:30 on WRTI, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 on HD-2 and the All-Classical web stream at wrti.org.

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Crossover
7:57 am
Sat December 28, 2013

The Cypresses Play The Cypresses

The Cypress String Quartet

This week on Crossover it's the San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet. The quartet is named after a set of songs by Antonin Dvorak based on the poems of the Moravian author Gustav Pfleger-Moravsky. Up until now, the quartet had not recorded its namesake work.  But that's changed with the Cypress String Quartet's latest release on the Avie label, Dvorak: Cypresses & Op. 106. Aside from the Cypresses for String Quartet, which is a cycle of miniatures inspired by unrequited love, the CD also has a performance of Dvorak's expansive String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Opus 106.

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Crossover
8:14 am
Sat December 21, 2013

It's a "Grassical" Christmas with the DePue Brothers Band!

You read the headline correctly. "Grassical." It's a combination of bluegrass and classical music, with elements of jazz, blues and rock included. The term was coined by the DePue Brothers, now performing as the DePue Brothers Band.  And they may call what they produce "grassical," but we call it serious fun!

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Crossover
7:42 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas starting this weekend on WRTI.  And Crossover kicks off the festivities with a special show on December 14 at 11:30 am.  We'll be surveying the new CD by Joshua Bell and Friends called Musical Gifts. The Sony Masterworks release features favorites for the season performed by virtuoso violinist and great friend of WRTI, Joshua Bell, with guests ranging from Placido Domingo and Renee Fleming, to Branford Marsalis and Chris Botti, to Alison Krauss and Gloria Estefan, and man more.  

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Crossover
8:12 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Pianist Helene Grimaud: Climbing Her "Mount Everest"

Pianist Helene Grimaud

It was around 2008 when virtuoso pianist Helene Grimaud thought about adding the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 to her repertoire. Seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, she calls her love of Brahms "intimate." So intimate that she performs almost every work he composed for piano, solo or otherwise.  And her relationship with his first piano concerto runs very deep.

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Crossover
4:35 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

The 1930s: World Struggles, Music Lives

The film ORCHESTRA OF EXILES reveals the story of Bronislaw Huberman, the celebrated Polish violinist who helped to rescue some of the world’s greatest musicians from Nazi Germany, and helped create the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

This week on Crossover, a look at the struggles of the oppressed in the 1930s, and the music that helped people thrive despite those struggles. Join us on November 9th at 11:30 am. Our first guest is Dorit Straus, daughter of David Grunschlag, virtuoso violinist and the first concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.  Ms. Straus speaks with Jill about her father and the events that put him in that very important concertmaster's chair.  We'll  hear two vintage recordings made in 1949 from a radio program in New York on which Mr.

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Crossover
9:53 am
Sat November 2, 2013

More Keyboard Conversations: Jeffrey Siegel Returns

Jeffrey Siegel
Peter Schaaf

The enlightening and well-received performance series Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel returns to the Kimmel Center this year for its ninth season. Mr. Siegel, a virtuoso pianist who has performed with the world's great orchestras, has been praised internationally for his popular signature Keyboard Conversations programs, which he performs worldwide. 

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