Mark Pinto

Classical Host

A Philadelphia native, Mark grew up in Roxborough and has followed in the footsteps of his father who once hosted a music program on WRTI in the '50s.

As an undergraduate at La Salle University, Mark hosted their radio station's only classical music program. He went on to become the weekend overnight host at WFLN-FM during the last seven years of the station's existence.

 In addition to a degree in communications from La Salle, Mark also holds a graduate degree in library science.  He is currently the Adult Services Director at Phoenixville Public Library, where he has worked since 1997. Jill Pasternak, Rolf Charlston, and Jeff Duperon (so far) have made appearances at the library, lecturing to roomfuls of admiring and appreciative fans.  Mark brings his cataloging skills to WRTI, where he assists Jack Moore with entering new classical CDs into the station’s database.

Mark is also active as a cantor at his church and sings (tenor) with the church choir and other choral groups around Montgomery and Chester counties.  He’s also available for weddings, funerals, etc...

Mark can be heard on Saturdays from 12:30 to 1 pm and from 5 to 6 pm as host of WRTI's Classical New Releases program.

Ways to Connect

The Wunderkind has come of age! Gustavo Dudamel, the young, Venezuelan conductor known for his flashy and energetic performances with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, and, since 2009, as music director with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has turned in a deeply considered performance of Gustav Mahler’s profoundly personal symphonic statement.  The recording captures the 32-year-old (31 at the time of this live concert recording) tackling repertoire conductors 20 years his senior are just now finding themselves ready to take on.

Tune in this Saturday, June 15th, after the opera, when Mark Pinto will host a special New Releases. He's stretching out and broadcasting for us Mahler's last completed symphony, the Ninth. We can't spill the beans on whose recording it is, but it's gotten raves! You will not be disappointed.

If you have the time to tune in just for this monument of orchestral literature, get to your radio or point your browser to by about 4:15 pm.

I admit I approach any new recordings of these, my favorite Tchaikovsky symphonies, with a bit of trepidation. Over the years I’ve encountered one too many recordings, as well as concert performances, that lay on the incurable Romanticism a bit too thick. Thematic presentations are muddled and tempos are stretched so that each movement, regardless of the tempo indication, seems to plod at the same pace.

It’s as if some conductors believed that Tchaikovsky, who always wore his heart on his sleeve, needed help expressing his feelings.

Let me make one thing clear: I am not a gamer. I am, however, an admirer of the recordings of La Pieta, the Canadian all-female string orchestra, and their leader, violinist Angele Dubeau. In particular, I appreciate their impeccable musicianship and the good taste of the arrangements that are composed for the ensemble. In recent recordings, they've championed the music of notable contemporary composers Philip Glass, John Adams, and Arvo Part, all favorites of mine.  

Landing at No. 1 of a 2008 top-10 list of works by living composers in the U.K. was The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins. I was fortunate to be in the audience last fall as the Main Line’s Wayne Oratorio Society performed it in concert. I was transfixed.

Commissioned for the new millennium and premiered in 2000, The Armed Man uses the medieval French song “L’Homme Armé” (The Armed Man), the basis of innumerable 15th- and 16th-century Mass settings.

This world-premiere recording of two chamber masterpieces by Philadelphia native son Vittorio Giannini definitely rates a “Wow!” When I aired his compelling Piano Quintet on New Releases a couple of months back, I found myself continually turning up the volume in the studio as each ear-catching phrase poured forth.

Think you know your Verdi operas? With this month’s selection, featuring the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Jose Serebrier on the podium, you might be surprised at how much music Giuseppe Verdi wrote for his operas that is rarely heard in public today.

If you enjoy wind band music of the toe-tapping and head-bobbing variety, or appreciate Pennsylvania musical history, you're sure to be delighted and captivated by the Allentown Band's latest release. Pennsylvania Pioneers celebrates 18 composers from across the Commonwealth, from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries. It's mostly marches, but with an occasional concert waltz, suite, and medley thrown in for good measure. Actually, make that many good measures!

Mark Pinto Recommends...

Jan 30, 2012

Howard Hanson: Symphony No.2, "Romantic," Lux Aeterna, Mosaics
Seattle Symphony with conductor Gerard Schwarz

Mark Pinto Recommends...

Sep 28, 2011

Michael Torke: Tahiti

Who says classical music has to be profound to be enjoyable? If you listen to classical music to "chill out," this disc is for you - with the composer's stamp of approval. Michael Torke says that he "always wanted to write a composition that would inspire a woman - coming home from a long day of work - to draw a bath, light candles, and listen to it on her pink iPod." And he has, times two, with "Tahiti," the title composition, and "Fiji" - fun pieces with a depth that listeners can explore.