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
9:03 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Drama And Comedy On Crossover: Huberman's List And Singing Pirates

Violinist Bronislaw Huberman

We've all seen the "Drama And Comedy" masks meant to depict the full range of emotions that entertainment causes us to feel.  This week's Crossover could certainly use those masks as a trademark.

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Crossover
8:06 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Singing Her Heart Out: Vocalist Dianne Reeves on Crossover

There are a ton of great jazz vocalists in the world, but there's only one Dianne Reeves. Since age 11, she's been singing her heart out, garnering three Grammy awards for three consecutive CDs - the only vocal recording artist in any category to do that. And to top that off, she won yet another Grammy for her work on the soundtrack for George Clooney's 2005 film, Good Night and Good Luck.

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Stojowski, Solti, Leinsdorf
10:49 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Three Great Specials: Friday Evenings on HD-2 and the Classical Stream

Conductor Erich Leinsdorf

Celebrate the start of Spring with three great specials on Friday evenings: A documentary about Zygmunt Stojowski on March 22, a celebratory concert honoring Sir George Solti's 100th birthday on March 29, and a look at the life of Erich Leinsdorf on April 5 and 12 - all on WRTI HD-2 and the All-Classical web stream.

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Crossover
6:43 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Piano Virtuoso Emanuel Ax on Crossover

Pianist Emanuel Ax

Pianist Emanuel Ax on Crossover with Jill Pasternak, March 17, 2013

This week's Crossover guest is one of the most well-known pianists in classical music - Emanuel Ax.  Mr. Ax is a multiple Grammy winner in both solo and chamber performances, and has enjoyed a career that has spanned over four decades.

Emanuel Ax was born in Lviv in western Ukraine in the summer of 1948, and raised in Poland.  His first piano teacher was his father, who started him on the keyboard at age 6.  At 7, he started official studies at the Miodowa School in Warsaw, eventually winding up in Winnipeg, in Manitoba, Canada when the family moved there two years later.  There he studied piano in school, and as a member of the Junior Music Club of Winnipeg.

In 1961, the family moved once again to New York City, where Mr. Ax began studies at Juilliard under Mieczyslaw Munz, eventually winning the Young Artists Award in 1973.  He came to prominence in 1974, after winning the first Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv.  He followed that in 1975 with the Michaels Award for Young Artists, and the Avery Fisher Prize in 1979.  From there, he has embarked on a career that has taken him around the world, performing solo, and with some of the most prominent chamber ensembles and orchestras in classical music.

Since 1973, Mr. Ax has been Yo-Yo Ma's main duo recital partner.  He also formed a quartet with Ma, Jaime Laredo and Issac Stern, releasing several CD's for Sony/CBS before Stern's death in 2001 adjourned the ensemble.

Emanuel Ax's latest CD is called, "Variations: Haydn, Beethoven and Schumann," on the Sony Classics label.  The pianist points out that each of these sets of Variations is unusual, “each revolutionary in its own way.” He has also discovered that they go very well together in a concert program. Now, surely to the worldwide delight of fans of virtuoso classical piano performance, he presents them together on a recording as well.  In the world of the pianist, says Mr. Ax, “we’re so centered on the sonata style. What’s nice sometimes is to look at other ways to deal with structure, other ways to deal with expression, other ways to deal with forming your thoughts.” 

Emanuel Ax will perform on Tuesday March 19th at 8 pm at the Leffler Performance Center at Elizabethtown College, as part of the Gretna Music series.  Tickets and information here or call 717-361-1508.

Listen for Jill's conversation with pianist Emanuel Ax, and music from his latest CD, "Variations: Haydn, Beethoven and Schumann," on Crossover, Saturday morning 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
6:52 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Turkish Bass Burak Bilgili on Crossover

Burak Bilgili speaks with Jill Pasternak on Crossover, Saturday March 2, 2013

Last week's guest on Crossover was Turkish Bass Burak Bilgili. Turkish? Not necessarily the first nationality that comes to mind when you think "opera singer." But, wait till you hear that voice!

A 2004 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Bilgili made his international debut in 2002 - while still a student at AVA - as Duke Alfonso in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at La Scala. His Metropolitan Opera debut was May 7, 2004, when he sang Leporello without either a full-stage or orchestra rehearsal in the final performance of Don Giovanni that season. When he took his solo bow at the end of the performance, the audience roared in appreciation. He returned to the company in 2009 as Ferrando in Il trovatore.

Starting Saturday evening, March 2nd, Bilgili will appear in the lead role in the Academy of Vocal Arts' production of Don Quichotte. Performances run through March 9th at AVA, and March 12th and 14th at Haverford's Centennial Hall. The production will also be heard as a Sunday Opera Special on March 10th at 3 pm on WRTI and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.

Crossover
4:40 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Crossover Goes to the Movies with Angele Dubeau and La Pieta

Angele Dubeau speaks with Jill Pasternak on Crossover February 2, 2013

This week, Jill speaks with a returning favorite guest, acclaimed Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau. Dubeau and her all-female string ensemble, La Pieta, recently released an album dedicated to the music of the movies. Silence, on joue! A Time for Us, gets its subtitle from the Nino Rota composition used in the Franco Zefirelli film, Romeo and Juliet. The ensemble effortlessly glides through movie music from John Williams to Erich Korngold, from Cinema Paradiso to the Lord of the Rings, and much more, with the same attention to performance as it gives to Bartok, Vivaldi, Glass, Cage, and others.

Listen to Crossover on Saturday mornings at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore Friday evening at 7 pm on WRTI's all-classical web stream and HD-2.

Crossover
9:40 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Trumpeter Alison Balsom on Crossover

Trumpeter Alison Balsom speaks with Jill Pasternak on Crossover in July, 2012.

This week on Crossover, it's an encore featuring British trumpeter Alison Balsom. A mixture of glamor, charisma, and virtuosic musicianship aptly describes Ms. Balsom. Kudos abound with raves from critics all over the world. Named "Female Artist of the Year" twice at the Classic BRITs, hailed by Gramophone magazine, Britain's Classic FM, and The New York Times, she continues to release collectable and stunning performances on the EMI label and to appear in concert and on TV with major orchestras internationally. Ms. Balsom's recent CD of modern concertos, Seraph, adds to her repertoire of classical and Baroque composers.

Crossover
7:51 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein Has Something To Say

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein with Jill Pasternak on Crossover, Jan. 12, 2013

The title of pianist Simone Dinnerstein's latest Sony release is Something Almost Being Said.  Despite the title, taken from one of the lines in Phillip Larkin's poem, "The Trees," her performance on the CD certainly does speak, quite loudly, of her virtuosity while capturing the intimacy of the music.

The subtitle of the album is Music of Bach and Schubert - music that, Ms. Dinnerstein says is, very personal to her.  In fact, as she tells Jill, in mentioning to her husband that this music "feels like it's saying something that couldn't be said in words," he responded with Larkin's poem. The opening lines of "The Trees" are:

"The trees are coming into leaf

Like something almost being said,

The recent buds relax and spread,

Their greenness is a kind of grief..."

Ms. Dinnerstein's "career tree" started to take root as she studied in the pre-college program at the Manhattan School of Music with Solomon Mikowsky. She later attended The Juilliard School of Music and was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied in London with Maria Curcio.

Her break came with the self-financed recording of J.S. Bach's "Goldberg Variations." Released by Telarc in 2007, the disc hit No. 1 on the Billboard Classical chart within one week, and outsold most rock CDs on Amazon.com. The CD appeared on a number of “Best of 2007” lists, including those of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, iTunes “Editor’s Choice Best Classical,” Amazon.com Best CDs of 2007, and Barnes & Noble's Top 5 Debut CDs of 2007.

The three albums Ms. Dinnerstein has released since then: The Berlin Concert (Telarc), Bach: A Strange Beauty (Sony), and the aforementioned Something Almost Being Said (Sony), –have also topped the classical charts, with Bach: A Strange Beauty making the Billboard Top 200, which compiles the entire music industry's sales of albums in all genres. Ms. Dinnerstein was the best-selling instrumentalist of 2011 on the U.S. Billboard Classical chart and was included in NPR's 2011 100 Favorite Songs from all genres.

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Special Programming
4:00 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

New! On WRTI's All-Classical Stream and HD-2: 'Russian Accents' and 'Edinburgh Festival'

Sergei Rachmaninoff

As the Los Angeles Philharmonic broadcast season comes to an end January 11th, two new programs will take the Friday 8 pm slot on WRTI's All-Classical stream and HD-2 over the next eight weeks.

From January 18th through February 8th, "Russian Accents: Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and the Piano" showcases the piano music of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Igor Stravinsky, as recorded in live performances by Alexander Toradze and members of the Toradze Piano Studio.

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A Holiday Tradition!
1:51 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

The Annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival: Dec. 24th at 6 pm on HD-2

A program in song and word, this concert has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event, which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. Christmas Eve at 6 pm on the All-Classical Stream and HD-2.

Highlights:

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