Saturday Classics

Saturday, 6 am to 12 noon

Treat yourself to a delightful variety of classical music every Saturday morning with host Debra Lew Harder. You'll hear works encompassing a wide range of time periods and instrumentation— from the Renaissance to new American classical music—from a gentle waltz to a bright piano sonata—from old favorites to something new.

Austrian composer Anton Webern became famous as a member of the "Second Viennese School," known for writing atonal music. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, an early work—officially premiered decades after Webern’s death—shows another side to the 20th-century modernist.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art; Bequest of Charles C. Willis, 1956

This week’s solar eclipse has a lot of people thinking about outer space. In his new composition, written for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Dirk Brossé uses the “spacey” sounds of an unusual instrument to depict an important encounter that took place on Earth -- not far from WRTI. 

Credit: Jessica Griffin

Paul Jacobs, the only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award, will perform in all three works on our Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this coming Sunday, August 20th at 1 pm.

Credit: Giorgia Bertazzi

On Sunday, August 13th at 1 pm, WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast brings us a feast of Ravel, and Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, played by the brilliant Curtis grad and rising star Benjamin Beilman! Listen on WRTI's new App!

Tony Award-winning actress and singer Barbara Cook, an ingénue in Broadway's Golden Age — during the 1950s and '60s — who later transformed herself into a concert and cabaret star, has died. She was 89.

Cook died early Tuesday of respiratory failure, surrounded by friends and family at her home in Manhattan, according to her publicist.

Credit: Felix Broede

Join us this Sunday on WRTI for a mini festival of Russian favorites, as Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève returns to Verizon Hall in this re-broadcast to conduct The Philadelphians. Download our new App to listen wherever you are in the world!

This Saturday at 5 pm on Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection: We heard Charles Ives by way of William Schuman last month on Discoveries, so it’s appropriate that we should hear Schuman on his own this month. You may remember that Ives had composed Variations on “America” for organ in 1891; William Schuman orchestrated it in 1964 and it’s been in the repertory ever since.

Credit: Felix Broede

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a highly educated member of the Russian elite. But it’s his connection with folk tunes and the countryside that especially touches one of today’s young classical stars. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts has resided for over 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.

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