Saturday Classics

Saturday, 6 am to 12 noon

Wake up to a great variety of classical music every Saturday morning with host Rolf Charlston. You'll hear works ranging from Baroque to contemporary - from a gentle waltz to a bright tango - from old favorites to something new.

Ryan Donnell

Join us on Sunday for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI. This re-broadcast brings us a lucky survivor among Mozart’s earlier symphonies, many of which were forgotten after his death. The Symphony No. 29, which Mozart composed at age 18, is full of charm, elegance, and irresistible high spirits, and Donald Runnicles, is on the podium.

The wit and sparkle of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, the nobility of one of the cornerstones of the cello repertory, Elgar’s Cello Concerto—played by the German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser—and the brilliant set of Haydn Variations that led the 40-year-old Brahms to complete his first symphony three years later are all yours to enjoy on this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast.


Seven of the world’s foremost choral composers have composed 15-minute musical responses to Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, a monumental sacred work of the German Baroque consisting of seven cantatas. The Crossing performs the new works alongside Buxtehude’s 1680 composition, with two leading ensembles in their respective fields of performance: Quicksilver Baroque and ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble.

This summer, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts is marking 40 years in its West Fairmount Park home. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on how this Philadelphia venue for summer music came to be.

Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles is busy with leadership positions in the opera and symphonic worlds in Germany, Scotland, and America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Runnicles, who is also a regular guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra.  


Angus McBean / Warner Classics

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was born in NYC in 1916. In 1926, the child prodigy made his recital debut at the Manhattan Opera House and had his first concerto performance with the San Francisco Orchestra. From 1928 until the year of his death in 1999, Menuhin had the longest-running contract in the history of the recording industry with EMI Classics, which was recently acquired by Warner Classics.

Join us on Sunday from 1 to 3 pm for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert. This week, you'll hear a re-broadcast of a performance of Bela Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2, infused with the dance rhythms of Hungarian folklore, and played by the multi award-winning violinist Gil Shaham.


On this month's broadcast, we'll share some M&M's with you...not the chocolate variety, but still quite delicious. Join us on Sunday, July 17th from 5 to 6 pm to hear works by Mozart and Mendelssohn, recorded in concert by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook

They perform at presidential inaugurations, state funerals, public concerts, all sorts of official functions, and, of course, in parades. They are the bands of the United States military. Each of the branches is served by a number of these ensembles, and the so-called premier bands take only first-tier musicians from conservatories and schools of music around the country.

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