Mark Pinto

Classical Host

A Philadelphia native, Mark grew up in Roxborough and at WRTI has followed in the footsteps of his father, William, who once hosted a music program on the station back 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 for seven years until the station changed format in 1997.

In addition to his undergrad degree in communications from La Salle, Mark also holds a graduate degree in library science from Drexel University.  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 an active volunteer with the Chester County Pops Orchestra.  At his church, he coordinates the lector (liturgical reader) program and also serves as cantor and member of the tenor section of the choir. He sings with other choral groups around Montgomery and Chester counties, including Musica Concordia, which is directed by Kile Smith's wife, Jacqueline. Mark is also available for weddings, funerals, etc...

Hear Mark on Saturdays from 12 to 1 pm and from 5 to 6 pm as host of WRTI's Classical New Releases program.

Ways to Connect

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.

Michael Daugherty: Route 66 - Marin Alsop conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Rued Langgaard: Music of the Spheres

You don't need to listen long into Langgaard's Music of the Spheres to know you're experiencing something remarkable - a sound world decades ahead of its time (1918). This is visionary music by a Scandinavian composer who forged his own way despite the criticism of, and rejection by, the musical establishment in his own country.

Mark Pinto Recommends...

Mar 11, 2011

The Complete Choros
and Bachianas Brasileiras

Heitor Villa-Lobos
Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and soloists

One of my favorite composers is the underrated Brazilian, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959). This multi-disc set of instrumental music offers masterful performances of his two great nationalistic series, the Choros and the Bachianas Brasileiras. The Brazilian musicians playing here feel the music deeply, and speak it fluently. A final disc is devoted to his complete works for solo guitar - exquisitely performed.

Alondra De La Parra, conductor
Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas

Mexico celebrated 200 years of independence on September 16, 2010. To mark the occasion, Sony Classical released this thoroughly enjoyable two-disc sampling of orchestral music written by Mexican composers over the last two centuries. Okay, 125 years, to be precise. The program was assembled by the young, Mexican-born, New York-based conductor Alondra de la Parra, who founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in 2004 at age 23.