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.

Join us for a fabulous concert broadcast from the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2015 St. Petersburg Festival, celebrating the great master of the third generation, Dmitri Shostakovich. Sunday, January 28th at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, January 29th at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.

Dmitri Shostakovich, known for many dramatic works composed in the shadow of Stalin, showed a different side —one filled with humor and family ties—in his Piano Concerto No. 2.


We're so happy to present the perfect Christmas soundtrack for a joyous Christmas holiday! Here are highlights from our carefully chosen selection of classical holiday favorites through January 1, 2018. Season's greetings from all of your friends at WRTI 90.1.

Listen to our Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast at 7 pm on the Classical Stream at WRTI.org on Christmas Day! It's the Orchestra’s annual Glorious Sound of Christmas concert, a tradition since the Philadelphians recorded its best-selling Glorious Sound of Christmas album in 1962.


J.S. Bach’s unconventional Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachts-Oratorium), composed in 1733 and 1734, is less known than his other major works, and it showcases the composer's innovation and resourcefulness. WRTI's Susan Lewis reports.

Handel’s Messiah, originally composed for performance during the springtime Christian observance of Lent, has become a contemporary staple of Christmas celebrations in modern America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this 18th-century oratorio.

The legendary Broadway musical writing team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II produced their final show together, The Sound of Music, nine months before Hammerstein passed away of cancer. Yet throughout all the songs of the show, there’s a great sense of hope and optimism.

Philadelphia’s role in the formation of our government is characteristic of a time when the city and its leading residents were forging firsts of all kinds.  As Handel’s Messiah is performed this holiday season, you might wonder when and where those first citizens might have heard the great Baroque work.

The second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7—the Allegretto—has captivated listeners since the symphony’s 1813 premiere, when it was so popular that the orchestra used it as an encore. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on why this particular movement continues to engages us.

The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles—with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

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