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.

Join us for a re-broadcast of a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from 2016 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.

Credit: Matthew Murphy

Benj Pasek (an Ardmore native) and Justin Paul—best friends from their days at the University of Michigan—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! And now... they can add Tony awards to the mantle, including the 2017 Tony for Best Musical.

It’s the spirit of jazz on Now Is the Time, Saturday, May 6th at 9 pm on WRTI.org and WRTI-HD2. We wanted to call #three “Pound Three” but our (increasingly numerous, as the years go by) younger colleagues said, "Hashtag. Duh." Unperturbed, we contacted the composer Juri Seo (younger than some of our young colleagues), who assured us that saying “Three” was just fine. So there, colleagues.

Although more women have been winning Pulitzer Prizes for music lately, it's still next to impossible to hear works by female composers performed by America's symphony orchestras.

This year's Pulitzer winner, Du Yun, has a lot to say about the situation.

All varieties of vernacular show up this week on Now Is the Time, Saturday, April 29th at 9 pm on WRTI.org and WRTI-HD2. With movements like Sip ’N Stir (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Ramada Inn (Exit 1, New Jersey Turnpike), it sure sounds like Michael Daugherty, and those are two of the movements from his Lounge Lizards for two pianos and two percussion.

Life awaits its birth this Saturday before Easter on Now Is the Time, Saturday, April 15th at 9 pm on WRTI.org and WRTI-HD2. Evan Chambers walks through a graveyard and is inspired by inscriptions and poetry in the Introduction to The Old Burying Ground and its last section, Paths of Peace. Then, an empty building in a Memphis night wonders if the sun will ever return, in Abandoned, a monodrama by Kamran Ince.

Passover passes, and remembrance continues on Now Is the Time, Saturday, April 8th at 9 pm. The composer and guitarist David Leisner tells the story, in Acrobats, of circus performers on a concentration camp-bound train who mistakenly end up at a circus.

Another Pi Day, 3/14, just slipped by, so let’s hear the magic of numbers on Now Is the Time on WRTI this Saturday, March 18th at 9 pm. Reginald Bain based his Pi Day on... well, you'll hear as much of the 3.1415926... sequence that can fit into four minutes and 50 seconds, read aloud over his inventively pulsing music. You can check here to see if he got it right.

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.

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