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.

Credit: Diana Pinto Photography

Let your voice be heard! Join us on Saturday from 4 to 6 pm for a broadcast of the Academy of Vocal Arts' popular Giargiari Bel Canto Competition, recorded live at the Kimmel Center on October 15th. During the broadcast, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite AVA resident artist at Will the WRTI audience agree with this year’s judges and the Kimmel Center audience? Tune in to find out! And don't forget to vote.

Join us this Sunday for a re-broadcast of a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from last April, 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: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

You go to a concert and see a string quartet looking like most every other string quartet — until it dawns on you they’re not looking at music. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks to the Chiara String Quartet, who plays all the Bartók string quartets, and more, from memory.

Credit: Richard Holt

WRTI remembers Sir Neville Marriner with an entire Saturday morning of his recordings, October 15th, 6 am to noon. The prolific and revered conductor passed away October 2nd in London at age 92.

All three of the works on this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-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.


Conductor, harpsichordist, and early music specialist Ton Koopman conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in this Sunday’s re-broadcast at 1 pm. It's a Verizon Hall concert from this past March, during which Koopman teams with his wife, harpsichordist Tini Mathot, in a performance of C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords, a boldly experimental work by a composer well-known for his innovation and dynamism.

This week’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast brings us a performance from early March, which saw the return to Philadelphia of pianist Hélène Grimaud, who performs a concerto close to her heart, the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2

Credit: Opera Philadelphia

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston considers a question of operatic proportion, with notable librettist Mark Campbell.

Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 3, which appears on his latest album, contains many levels of meaning. It's an homage to the Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev, whose Second Symphony serves as a structural model for the piece. It's an encoded musical portrait of Rouse's wife. And it's an engaging piece of music even for a listener who possesses none of this background knowledge.

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, this Saturday at 5 pm on WRTI... Looking over the landscape of American orchestral music covering the 19th and into the 20th centuries as we have been, we see two names—not American—looming large. One is Beethoven, the other, Wagner. They are still huge now; imagine them in the eyes of American musicians then.