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.

Classical music on WRTI’s Memorial Day Weekend looks back and moves forward! Of course we'll have American and other classical favorites all weekend long as we remember the meaning of Memorial Day. But we’ll also hear new works of remembrance.

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.


All three of the works on this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast were composed in Paris within a five-year period (1928-33), one by a German, another by a Frenchman, and the last by an American. And they all marvelously combine elements of serious composition with popular influences, notably from jazz.

Although you may not realize that it was first composed as a military march, you’ll instantly recognize one of Sir Edward Elgar’s most popular works, "Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1 in D," - especially the nearly two-minute middle section so commonly associated with graduation. 

The path to landing a full-time position as an orchestral musician can be a rocky and competitive climb.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, one successful percussion player says it's all about staying with it, and  "Sticking It Out," which is the title of a new memoir by Patti Niemi.


Julieta Cervantes

Philadelphia has long been known as a theater tryout town, but one show that many have forgotten is the first mainstream African American hit Shuffle Along. Now, a documentary revision of the 1921 jazz musical is back and is a big Broadway hit.  The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns examines its local roots.

WRTI Arts Desk Reporters Honored

May 22, 2016

WRTI reporters traveled to The Hotel Hershey on May 16th to accept the 2016 Judges Merit Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. Congratulations to Susan Lewis (arts reporter), Meridee Duddleston (arts reporter), Kile Smith (arts reporter), and Eric Brannon (audio engineer) for their work on the following Arts Desk radio features that captured the winning votes from the judges. Check them out!

History will be made when The Philadelphia Orchestra kicks off its 2016 Asia Tour with two concerts at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. And you'll be right there! WRTI's Gregg Whiteside is traveling across the globe to China to bring you both performances live, in real time, on WRTI. Tune in at 90.1 FM in Philadelphia, or listen online at WRTI.org.

Classical and Jazz Weekend Highlights on WRTI

May 20, 2016

Turn on your radio, or go online, to hear the best classical music and jazz programs throughout the weekend. Here are some highlights...

This Sunday, May 22nd, WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast brings us a performance from this past April at Verizon Hall of the music of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Mendelssohn, under the direction of Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, making his Philadelphia Orchestra debut.

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