Now is the Time

Saturday, 9 to 10 pm on HD-2 and the Classical Stream

Contemporary American music is being recorded all the time, and Now is the Time to take a listen and explore the music of American composers today. All types...all styles...listen to contemporary American music every Saturday night with host and composer Kile Smith.

Credit: Dirty Sugar Photography

Benj Pasek (an Ardmore native) and Justin Paul—best friends from their days at the University of Michigan—just won a 2017 Academy Award for writing the lyrics to the song "City of Stars" from the hit film La La Land. They're also Golden Globe winners!

On Saturday, February 18th at 9 pm, Now Is the Time presents a taste of the upcoming Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia "Sounds of America" concert. We hope you can join us for a different look at some of the composers who will be represented on those February 26th and 27th concerts.

Classical composer Michael Daugherty, who won two 2017 Grammy Awards, writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.


Dr. Albert Barnes was often keen to mix music with his legendary art collection. So in that spirit, the Barnes Foundation will be adding some 16 concerts to Philadelphia’s classical music community. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports they will be serious.

Joseph Bertolozzi

It’s heavy metal on Now Is the Time, Saturday, January 14th at 9 pm on WRTI.org and WRTI-HD2. Techno DJ Steve Bowman starts us off with Pinches of piano and electronica. That’s followed by David Dzubay's Brass Quintet No. 1 from way, way back in 1988. The Prism Saxophone Quartet becomes a sextet for Dear Lord, a Coltrane arrangement by Dave Liebman (joining in on soprano).

Music of memories sleeping and waking inhabit Now Is the Time on WRTI this Saturday, December 10th at 9 pm. A sparkling duo for violin and piano is A Dream of Waking by Dan Becker, and Elizabeth Brown walks us through the mnemonic device of remembrance in The Memory Palace for a trio of flute, cello, and piano. Brown is the flutist, also. Curt Cacioppo takes us through his own memories of Italy in his string quartet Divertimenti in Italia.

Now Is the Time jumps into the Giving Thanks for Philadelphia weekend on WRTI Saturday, November 19th at 9 pm. All the composers and many of the performers live in and around Philadelphia, or studied here. Retired Haverford College professor Harold Boatrite’s music is always smart and tuneful, and his Sonata for Flute and Piano is no exception. Daniel Kellogg and Zhou Tian both went through Curtis, and both have their works played here by Mimi Stillman, from her CD Odyssey.

Orchestra 2001 didn't fade away when its founder and director James Freeman announced his departure two years ago after 26 years at its helm. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports that the Swarthmore College professor's replacement, Jayce Ogren, has — in the three months since his appointment — devised plans to make the contemporary music ensemble ubiquitous.

Join us this Sunday for a re-broadcast of a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from last April, that brings us two Philadelphia Orchestra commissions — Maurice Wright’s Resounding Drums, a timpani concerto composed for the Orchestra’s principal timpanist, Don Liuzzi, and the Clarinet Concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff, composed for the principal clarinetist of the Philadelphians, Ricardo Morales.

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