Crossover

Saturday, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Join Jill Pasternak every Saturday for her weekly interview show spotlighting notable music and musicians from the classical and jazz worlds - and the periphery as well!  Totally un-scripted and spontaneous, Crossover sounds like nothing else on the dial -- more like friends chatting over coffee than a broadcast interview.

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Crossover
6:52 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Itzhak Perlman's Eternally Beautiful Music For The Soul

The distinguished violinist Itzhak Perlman offers a glimpse into the classical Jewish Cantorial repertoire, and beloved liturgical and traditional works in new arrangements backed by chamber orchestra and Klezmer musicians. Mr. Perlman is joined by his dear friend and colleague, Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot.

While rooted in the Cantorial-liturgical tradition of Jewish music, the ten tracks on Eternal Echoes: Songs And Dances For the Soul encompass a wide range of sonic modes and musical moods. The CD has just the right mixture of happy and sad, and laughter through tears.

Crossover
8:54 am
Sat August 31, 2013

America The Beautiful: The Immigrant Experience

Quiara Alegría Hudes

They say America is a country of immigrants. And it is that immigrant experience that we explore and celebrate on Crossover this week.  A smash Broadway hit, In the Heights details the life and survival of a family and their pursuit of happiness in the “promised land” of America. Set in the Washington Heights barrio of New York City, the characters wrestle with the heartache and the joys and the drama of “making it” in a country that is not their native land.

Philadelphia native and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Quiara Alegria Hudes, received a Tony Award for her book of the show, and she recalls the other honors and the differences in the creative process. In The Heights will be at the Walnut Street Theatre from September 3rd though October 20th.
 

In the same vein, we reprise a conversation from 2010 with virtuoso guitarist Manuel Barrueco. A native of Cuba, he studied at the esteemed Esteban Salas Conservatory in Cuba, came to the United States as part of the Cuban exodus, enrolled in Baltimore’s, Peabody Institute, and in 1974 became the first classical guitarist to win the Concert Artists Guild award.  He has recorded over a dozen albums for EMI and with every major orchestra along with Deep Purple and The Police.

Crossover
12:37 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Tackling Schumann: The Canadian Brass Scores!

The Canadian Brass

Let's face it, for most people thoughts of brass conjure up either college football halftime bands or worse, the "sad tuba and trombone" music cues marking a game show loser (think The Price Is Right when the contestant gets the price wrong and doesn't win the car). Personally, the holidays are what comes to mind when I think of brass.

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Crossover
4:29 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The First Call: Tenor Sax Larry McKenna

Tenor sax Larry McKenna
Melissa Gilstrap

Here in Philly, whenever someone needs a tenor sax player, the first call is to jazz great Larry McKenna. It's been that way for so long that most know his number by heart. And it's not just jazz bands that make that call.

It was that way when he backed Sinatra at the Latin Casino; when he was part of the "MFSB Orchestra" for Gamble and Huff backing Patti LaBelle, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and other Philly greats; when director Alan Parker needed music and a player for the Nicholas Cage film, Birdy, and many other instances.

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Music Features
10:23 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Mezzo Laurie Rubin: The Color of Dreams and Music

Laurie Rubin, mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Barkat

She's blind.  She can't see.  Unfortunately, for many people, it's a stigma they can't overcome.  They are the naysayers, the ones who ironically just can not see beyond a person's imperfections.  She's not normal, they say.  She'll never live a normal life, find romance, hold a job or live independently.

They are wrong.  They are the ones who are blind.

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Crossover
9:53 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Rachel Barton Pine: Violin Lullabies That Won't Put You To Sleep

The big news this week was the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, the new Duke of Cambridge. Plenty of sleepless nights certainly await the Royal parents; so this new collection of lullabies may be just what the royal doctor ordered.

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Crossover
4:29 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Guitarist David Cohen: Healing And Helping Through Music

Guitarist David Cohen with Jill Pasternak, July, 2013

This week we feature a musician who has gone well beyond his role as an entertainer to become an active member of humanitarian causes he believes in. In an effort to fight hunger, David Cohen co-founded the Ocean Grove Music Arts Festival from which all proceeds go directly to the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey.  

He also initiated the website PhiladelphiaClassicalMusic.com to promote classical music in the area, and established PhiladelphiaGuitarNews.com with the same goal in targeting guitar players in Philadelphia.  

His newest album David Cohen: Guitar pays homage to his late wife, Tatyana, who recently lost her battle against ovarian cancer.  The CD is an intimate celebration of love and life and the brave battle she and so many other women have fought.  A portion of the proceeds of the album will support the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where David assists in the development and implementation of patient and family- centered care philosophy and practices. Saturday, July 20, 11:30 am to 12 noon.

Crossover
2:49 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Diva DiDonato: The Wow Factor

David Zobel

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, the brightest new light on the operatic horizon, graces us with her new release, Drama Queens, on the Virgin classics label. Her interpretation of works by Baroque composers such as Orlandini, Handel, and Monteverdi knocks your socks off. And in a blazing red silk gown, she breathes life into her ancient "heroines" - jealousy, tenderness, and passion - unchanging in the scheme of life.  Saturday, July 6, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on Crossover with host Jill Pasternak.

Crossover
4:44 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Wanamaker Organ Day LIVE On WRTI: June 29, 11:30 AM

Join us for a special edition of Crossover on Saturday, June 29th, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm - broadcast live from this year's Wanamaker Organ Day at Macy's Center City - the free, day-long musical extravaganza in celebration of the world's largest pipe organ.

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Crossover
9:07 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The Reluctant Trailblazer: Philadelphia Orchestra Harpist Edna Phillips

Emil Rhodes, Family Collection

Harpist Edna Phillips was only 23 when she joined The Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in 1930. The story goes that the orchestra was looking for a second chair harpist, and Phillips' teacher at Curtis, Carlos Salzedo, insisted that she audition.

She was somewhat reluctant.  After all, she'd only been playing the harp for five years, coming to the instrument late in life after spending time with the piano.  But sometimes all it takes is being in the right place at the right time.

After her audition, Stokowski revealed that the orchestra's principal harpist had been badly injured and would not be returning.  He wanted Phillips to fill the chair.  This would make her not only the first woman in The Philadelphia Orchestra, but the first woman to be a principal player in ANY American orchestra.

In Phillips' later years, she was chair of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia where she hired Mary Sue Welsh, a retired editor of children's books. The two would become close friends.  At one point, Phillips suggested to Welsh that they work together on a memoir of her life as a harpist. But, when Phillips passed on in 2003, Welsh tossed it aside.  

Eventually, Welsh returned to the idea, and started working on a Phillips biography, talking to the harpist's family, friends, and co-workers, and using archival material.  Recently published, the book is called, One Woman in a Hundred, and is part of the University of Illinois Press' "Music in American Life" series.

Listen for Jill Pasternak's conversation with author Mary Sue Welsh on the life and times of Edna Phillips, and hear excerpts from the author's taped conversations with the harpist, along with music performed by her, on Crossover, Saturday, June 22nd at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM and the All-Classical stream at wrti.org, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on HD-2 and the All-Classical stream.

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