Conductor Donald Runnicles will be back here in Philadelphia next week to conduct the Orchestra in works by Benjamin Britten, Arvo Part, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We’ll look ahead to those performances by looking back this coming Sunday at 1 pm, as we bring you an archival broadcast from a concert in February of 2005, which saw Maestro Runnicles on the podium conducting the Orchestra in the year he made his debut with the Philadelphians, directing works by Beethoven and Elgar.
Pianist Andreas Haefliger joined the Philadelphians for a memorable performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. And that weekend in 2005 marked the first time a guest conductor had the opportunity to perform in Verizon Hall with the new – or rather, restored, traditional - orchestral seating layout introduced the previous month by then-music director Christoph Eschenbach. Maestro Runnicles benefited greatly from this new seating arrangement in Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 by having the division of the first and second violin sections to left and right; Elgar was a composer who made much of the antiphonal play between those groups.
It was a wonderful concert in 2005 - and you can relive it all this Sunday, March 23 from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM, or online at wrti.org. Information about the upcoming concert on March 27, 28, and 29 with Maestro Runnicles on the podium.
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host.
Here's Artur Rubenstein performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1972:
Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Andreas Haefliger, piano
Donald Runnicles, conductor