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.

Theories abound about why the violins created in Cremona, Italy from the mid 1500s to the mid 1700s serve as the benchmark among masterpieces. Intriguing research by acoustics experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might provide a clue.

Credit: Giorgia Bertazzi

On Sunday, January 8th at 1 pm, WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert 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!

For Christmas Day at 1 pm, what a treat! It's Handel's Baroque masterpiece, Messiah. Cristian Măcelaru, conductor-in-residence of The Philadelphia Orchestra, directs the 2013 performance, with the Philadelphians joined by four distinguished soloists, and the Philadelphia Singers Chorale. Listen on WRTI's new App!

Dashing through the snow, to your radio you shall go! WRTI brings you the holidays in all their sonic glory. Here are highlights from our classical schedule through January 5th, 2017. Here's to a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a healthy, happy, peaceful 2017. Season's greetings from all of your friends at WRTI!

It's a special holiday-themed Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia broadcast this Saturday, December 24th at 11 am. Three conductors, Christmas-time music, and Music Director Dirk Brossé's arranging skills will be on full display!

Midori's Passion Beyond the Concert Hall

Dec 22, 2016
Credit: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Violinist Midori has been performing with major orchestras since her 1983 New Year’s Eve debut at age 11 with The New York Philharmonic. While still in her teens, she developed another passion.  

Credit: Gary Horn

It was 1964 when longtime Philadelphia classical morning host Dave Conant landed his first radio gig. Now, 52 years later, our general manager with the velvety baritone and dry wit is turning off his mic and retiring from WRTI.

The Unusual Christmas Oratorio of J.S. Bach

Dec 21, 2016

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.

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. “My Favorite Things,” with its holiday imagery, and its reminder to remember one’s favorite things when times are sad, has been adopted and adapted by jazz artists and pop artists to this day.

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.

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