Classical Weekdays

Monday through Friday, 6 am to 6 pm

WRTI brings you the best recordings of works from the vast world of classical music every weekday from 6 am to 6 pm. Chamber music, symphonies, choral works, violin concertos, piano sonatas, and more...engagingly presented with insight and a smile by our knowledgeable hosts.

Playlists are below.

July 4th Weekend on WRTI: Classical from A to Z!

Jun 27, 2016

It’s classical from A to Z all July 4th weekend on WRTI! Beginning Friday at noon and continuing right through Independence Day itself, Monday July the 4th, we’ll keep your weekend humming with composers from A to Z.

“Opera’s where my heart is,” said Rene Orth this January, and in June, Opera Philadelphia announced her appointment as its new Composer in Residence. She will be the sixth composer to hold that position and was chosen from a field of applicants from across the country.

The second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7—the Allegretto—has captivated listeners since the symphony’s 1813 premiere, when it was so popular that the orchestra used it as an encore. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on why this particular movement continues to engages us.

In his early twenties, Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) won the title "Argentina's Great Musical Hope" with works such as the ballet score Estancia, and popular piano pieces like Danzas argentinas, which strongly evoke the rhythm and flair of the folk music of Argentina.

This Sunday on WRTI, it's a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from late April at Verizon Hall with Conductor-in-Residence Cristian Măcelaru on the podium. The program begins with Sergei Prokofiev’s sparkling First Symphony, completed the summer before Russian revolutionary upheavals led to his departure from his native country for nearly two decades.

On this month’s concert broadcast of performances by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, we’ll hear two premieres and one of the greatest violin concertos in the repertoire. 

John Williams, so famous for his award-winning film scores including Jaws, Star Wars, and Schindler’s List, wrote a violin concerto that transcends the personal story behind it. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

When Samuel Barber’s violin concerto was rejected by the man for whom it was commissioned in 1939, he turned to his alma mater — The Curtis Institute of Music — where the concerto was performed to acclaim, leading to its official premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked to a panel of artists about Barber’s legacy, and the pleasures and perils of creating and performing new work in Philadelphia.


In 1970, a young business school grad — and failed opera singer — named David Gockley landed a job as business manager of the Houston Grand Opera. After two years, at age 27, he moved up to general director.

Over the next 30 years, Gockley transformed the company into a hothouse for new and revived American opera. During his tenure in Houston, Gockley presented 35 world premieres, including John Adams' Nixon in China, Stewart Wallace's Harvey Milk, Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place, Mark Adamo's Little Women and three operas by Carlisle Floyd.

In its 32 year history, the PRISM Quartet has commissioned over 250 new pieces, and in doing so, re-defined the saxophone quartet itself. As the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, this summer, they're forging unprecedented relationships with ensembles near and far.

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