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.

Grab your tissues and join us to hear one of Giacomo Puccini’s most beloved operas! Filled with beautiful arias, La Boheme is one of the composer’s most frequently performed and recorded operas. The performance we’ll hear is considered by many the finest recording of the work ever made—the 1956 La Boheme conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham.

Credit: Vahan Stepanyan

Michael Tilson Thomas is on the podium for this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI.

Credit: Dario Acosta

Vladimir Jurowski, one of the most sought-after conductors in the world, collaborates with one of the world’s most talented virtuoso pianists, Yefim Bronfman, in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor,” one of the supreme achievements in the genre — this Sunday, September 18th at 1 pm on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast on WRTI.

Talk to nearly any classical music critic about heroes of the trade and one name usually comes up: Virgil Thomson. Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times advises: "Every practicing and aspiring critic today should read Thomson's exhilarating writings."

When you think of an orchestra, you're probably picturing refined woodwoods, brass, and strings. But one ensemble I recently met is made up mostly of kids who play instruments made out of literal trash. This is the Recycled Orchestra from Cateura, Paraguay, and their group is the subject of a new documentary film.

It’s into the vault this Sunday for a January 30th, 2006 concert recorded in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, and conducted by then Music Director and current Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Join us on Sunday, September 18th from 5 to 6 pm to hear the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia perform Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, known as "The Great C Major Symphony," to distinguish it from Schubert's Symphony No. 6  in the same key.

It’s back to school time, and for some, back to music lessons.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, music education is a particular passion of international superstar, pianist Lang Lang.

Now Is the Time, Saturday, September 10th, 9 to 10 pm. On this eve of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, we remember the lives lost to terror, and vow to live on. Aquilo is the Latin word for the wind that comes from the northeast; Arlene Sierra evokes that, air, and fire in this orchestral work.

There's a new host on WRTI! She's Debra Lew Harder, a pianist and music educator who also happens to be a natural on the radio. We're lucky to have her on board here. In addition to being your Saturday morning classical host from 6 am to 12 noon, Debra is producing Arts Desk features and interviewing guest artists for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts. She's also a substitute host. So you'll be hearing her voice a lot!

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday September 10th, 5 to 6 pm. Last month we left the Hungarian conductor Anton Seidl in late 19th-century New York City, where he led, at one time or another, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Not too long after, the Spanish composer and pianist Enrique Granados was there, basking in a successful premiere at that same Met. The year was 1916—100 years ago.