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.

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

Ways To Connect

Virtuoso classical guitarist Jason Vieaux tends to go anywhere his mind can take him. From J.S. Bach to Issac Albeniz, to David Ludwig to Astor Piazaolla, to Pat Metheny to Duke Ellington, it's hard to pin Jason Vieaux down. But, perhaps, that's his plan.

Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, or simply Miloš ("mee-lohsh") is taking the classical guitar music world by storm.

His debut CD from 2011, Mediterráneo, in the space of just a few months, topped classical charts around the world, became an internationally best-selling sensation, and earned Miloš Gramophone’s prestigious Young Artist of the Year Award.  Not a bad start.

When you think female trumpeters, Alison Balsom usually comes to mind first. But there's another lady that's about to give Ms. Balsom a run for her money. Enter Norwegian-born Tine Thing Helseth. In urgent demand as a fast-rising soloist, the 26-year-old trumpeter, whose first name is pronounced "tina ting," has already performed with  the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the list goes on...

Virtuoso violinist Anne Akiko Meyers tells the story of seeing an old Jack Benny routine on TV. Mr. Benny had two violins: an el cheapo model, and an expensive Stradivarius. He wanted to show the difference between the two instruments.  The comedian launches into Mendelssohn on the el cheapo and gets, "...squeak, SQUEAK, SQUONK, squeal..." Benny then picks up the Strad and plays the same piece. "...Squeak, SQUEAK, SQUONK, squeal..."   Yes, comedy. But Meyers' point was that it's not really the instrument that makes the artist.

The more you look and listen, the more you realize that classical music and jazz tend not to stay in separate lanes.  Sometimes they won't even use turn signals.  A good example is "With A Gentle Touch," from the CD, Classic Encounter by the Ramsey Lewis Trio with the Philharmonia Orchestra under James Mack. Warning: this is a habit-forming tune, as is the whole CD.  

Network For New Music, the award-winning new music ensemble and organization based in Philadelphia, looks at the music of the eclectic composer and pianist John Harbison at concerts and workshops from April 4 to 6, featuring music inspired by jazz, poetry, and American popular song.

When Bach wrote his Inventions and Sinfonias BWV 772-801, he described them this way, "An Honest Guide by which lovers of the clavier, and particularly those with a desire to learn, are shown a plain way, not only (1) to learn and play neatly in two parts, but also, with further progress, (2) to play correctly and well in three obligato parts; and, at the same time, not only to obtain good musical themes, but also to develop them well; above all, however, to achieve a cantabile style of playing, and along with it, to gain a strong foretaste of composition."

The biennial Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, the second so far, continues through March 16th. Check it out here! But be prepared. Flamenco has a tendency to change your life in a heartbeat.

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.

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.