Joe Patti

Classical Host

It's his parents' fault. For Joe's sixth birthday, they gave him a transistor radio. All of a sudden, their dreams of having a doctor or lawyer (or even a fry cook) in the family went down the tubes.

For more than three decades, Joe has been defiantly disappointing his parents, to the benefit of radio listeners across the tri-state area. From Trenton to the Jersey shore, and from Philly to Wilmington, he's been programming, producing, and performing in almost every radio format, even winning an award or two along the way.

After having worked with such Philadelphia stars as Hy Lit, Sally Starr, and Johnny "Green Grocer" Lerro during his career, and having made some major noise as the operations and programming head for a South Jersey AM/FM combo, Joe thought it was time for a new challenge. Almost simultaneously, the opportunity to work as production manager at WRTI arrived. "Divine intervention," he says.

Joe is WRTI's production manager as well as a substitute classical host.

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Crossover
12:59 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Violinist Maria Bachmann: French Fantasy

Violinist Maria Bachmann's new CD is FRENCH FANTASY

Violinist Maria Bachmann with Jill Pasternak on Crossover, Saturday, March 23, 2013

This week on Crossover, it's a repeat broadcast of  Jill Pasternak's recent interview with violin virtuoso Maria Bachmann. A student of Ivan Galamian and Szymon Goldberg at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, she was awarded the school's Fritz Kreisler Prize for outstanding graduating violinist. Bachmann made her professional debut in New York in 1987 after placing first in the Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition in Vienna. She has since established herself as a leading concert and recital hall artist worldwide.

Bachmann is perhaps best-known for her performances of new music by George Rochberg, Leon  Kirchner, Albert Glinsky and Paul Moravec. Her debut recording on BMG, released in 1993, featured works from the 20th century, accompanied by award-winning pianist Jon Klibonoff. But her musical interests are wider than just new music.  Another BMG release of the Beethoven and Mendelssohn violin concertos was very well received.    

In 2010, she gave the world premiere performance of Moravec's Violin Concerto at the Kimmel Center with Philly's Orchestra 2001. She repeated that performance this past March with South Jersey's Symphony in C, under Rossen Milanov, which was recently broadcast on WRTI.  We'll hear an excerpt from that performance on this show. Moravec has written fourteen solo and chamber works specifically for Bachmann.    

Bachmann is also known for her chamber music performances, having appeared in concert and on recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She founded the Bachmann-Klibonoff-Fridman Piano Trio in 1993, which for a time was the resident ensemble at WQXR Radio in New York. In 2001, she formed Trio Solisti, comprised of Bachmann, Klibonoff, and cellist Alexis Gerlach. Bachmann is also artistic director of the Telluride Music Festival, for which Trio Solisti is the founding ensemble.  

Bachmann performs on a 1782 violin by Nicolo Gagliano.  

We'll hear the aforementioned excerpt of the Moravec violin concerto on the show, plus music from her new Bridge release called, French Fantasy. Bachmann is accompanied by pianist Adam Neiman on the disc, performing works of Debussey, Franck, and Saint-Saens.  

Listen for Jill's conversation with violin virtuoso Maria Bachmann on Crossover, Saturday morning, March 23rd at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on HD-2 and the All-Classical web stream at wrti.org.

Crossover
7:29 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Conductor Stephen Gunzenhouser: Classical Music's Tour Guide

The internationally known conductor Stephen Gunzenhouser, music director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, considers himself a musical tour guide of sorts. Makes sense when you look at his discography and see just how many recordings he's made with orchestras and ensembles worldwide.  The Capella Istropolitana, the Slovak Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Argentina, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony of Ireland, the Polish National Radio Symphony, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, the Bogota Philharmonic, and the list goes on and on.  

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Crossover
7:21 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Violinist Nicola Benedetti: Another Film Music CD? Yes...And No!

Violinist Nicola Benedetti's latest CD on the Decca label is "The Silver Violin."  The CD contains Ms. Benedetti's take on music used in film by Korngold, Shostakovich, Marianelli, Shore, Mahler and more.

The reaction upon first seeing the CD when it arrived at the station: "Yawn...OK...another film music disc." But! When the disc actually made it into the CD player, the scales fell from both the eyes and the ears, and all one could say was, "Wow."  We have no doubt you'll have the same final reaction we did. "Wow."

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Crossover
12:37 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Tackling Schumann: The Canadian Brass Scores!

The Canadian Brass

Let's face it, for most people thoughts of brass conjure up either college football halftime bands or worse, the "sad tuba and trombone" music cues marking a game show loser (think The Price Is Right when the contestant gets the price wrong and doesn't win the car). Personally, the holidays are what comes to mind when I think of brass.

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Crossover
4:29 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The First Call: Tenor Sax Larry McKenna

Tenor sax Larry McKenna

Here in Philly, whenever someone needs a tenor sax player, the first call is to jazz great Larry McKenna. It's been that way for so long that most know his number by heart. And it's not just jazz bands that make that call.

It was that way when he backed Sinatra at the Latin Casino; when he was part of the "MFSB Orchestra" for Gamble and Huff backing Patti LaBelle, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and other Philly greats; when director Alan Parker needed music and a player for the Nicholas Cage film, Birdy, and many other instances.

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Music Features
10:23 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Mezzo Laurie Rubin: The Color of Dreams and Music

Laurie Rubin, mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Barkat

She's blind.  She can't see.  Unfortunately, for many people, it's a stigma they can't overcome.  They are the naysayers, the ones who ironically just can not see beyond a person's imperfections.  She's not normal, they say.  She'll never live a normal life, find romance, hold a job or live independently.

They are wrong.  They are the ones who are blind.

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Crossover
9:53 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Rachel Barton Pine: Violin Lullabies That Won't Put You To Sleep

The big news this week was the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, the new Duke of Cambridge. Plenty of sleepless nights certainly await the Royal parents; so this new collection of lullabies may be just what the royal doctor ordered.

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Crossover
9:07 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The Reluctant Trailblazer: Philadelphia Orchestra Harpist Edna Phillips

Emil Rhodes, Family Collection

Mary Sue Welsh discusses the life and career of Edna Phillips on Crossover, June 22nd, 2013.

Harpist Edna Phillips was only 23 when she joined The Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in 1930. The story goes that the orchestra was looking for a second chair harpist, and Phillips' teacher at Curtis, Carlos Salzedo, insisted that she audition.

She was somewhat reluctant.  After all, she'd only been playing the harp for five years, coming to the instrument late in life after spending time with the piano.  But sometimes all it takes is being in the right place at the right time.

After her audition, Stokowski revealed that the orchestra's principal harpist had been badly injured and would not be returning.  He wanted Phillips to fill the chair.  This would make her not only the first woman in The Philadelphia Orchestra, but the first woman to be a principal player in ANY American orchestra.

In Phillips' later years, she was chair of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia where she hired Mary Sue Welsh, a retired editor of children's books. The two would become close friends.  At one point, Phillips suggested to Welsh that they work together on a memoir of her life as a harpist. But, when Phillips passed on in 2003, Welsh tossed it aside.  

Eventually, Welsh returned to the idea, and started working on a Phillips biography, talking to the harpist's family, friends, and co-workers, and using archival material.  Recently published, the book is called, One Woman in a Hundred, and is part of the University of Illinois Press' "Music in American Life" series.

Listen for Jill Pasternak's conversation with author Mary Sue Welsh on the life and times of Edna Phillips, and hear excerpts from the author's taped conversations with the harpist, along with music performed by her, on Crossover, Saturday, June 22nd at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM and the All-Classical stream at wrti.org, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on HD-2 and the All-Classical stream.

Crossover
3:57 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Here Comes the Judge: Organist Paul Jacobs

Organist Paul Jacobs

A good friend of WRTI returns this week. Acclaimed organ virtuoso Paul Jacobs stops by to tell us about the International Organ Competition at Longwood Gardens June 18th through 22nd. He'll be one of five judges deciding the fate of ten young organists who've been vetted, from hundreds of entries, to move on to the preliminaries. Only five will make it to the finals to compete for the $40,000 Pierre S. DuPont First Prize.

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Conrad Tao on Crossover
8:20 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Crossing Boundaries from Past to Future: Pianist Conrad Tao on Crossover

Conrad Tao, pianist
Ruimin Wang

He's only 18 years old, but has experience way beyond his years.  He's a virtuoso pianist, a composer and an accomplished violinist.  And now he's a music festival founder and curator.  He's Conrad Tao.  As comfortable with Ravel and Rachmaninoff as with Reich, Eno and Meredith Monk, it seems he can do anything he wants to, and do it with excellence.  Did we say he's only 18?

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