Astral Artists

Kaupo Kikkas

Listen to a live performance, recorded on Friday, March 9, featuring the young American pianist Henry Kramer performing works by Robert Schumann and Maurice Ravel. A Maine native, Henry’s playing has been lauded as “triumphant” and “thrilling” by The New York Times. 

Join us on Friday at 12:10 pm to hear mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams, winner of Astral’s 2014 National Auditions, singing LIVE from WRTI’s Performance Studio.

Vanessa Briceno Photography

If you haven’t yet heard the resonant, rich sound of the solo double bass in concert, now’s your chance. On Friday, January 26th at noon, the superb, young double bass soloist and composer Xavier Foley will play LIVE from WRTI 90.1’s performance studio. 

Ryan Brandenberg

Listen to Project Fusion, a dynamic young saxophone quartet, when they chatted with Classical Coffeehouse Host Debra Lew Harder and performed LIVE on WRTI. A winner of Astral's 2015 National Auditions, Project Fusion has captured top prizes in prestigious chamber music competitions; the ensemble's concerts have been described as “joyful celebrations.”

Skillful young athletes might get their career bearings on a pro team, but what’s the equivalent for promising artists in the classical music world? WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston learns about one organization that has mentored some of the best in the field, including guitarist Jason Vieaux, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, flutist Mimi Stillman, soprano Angela Meade, and the string trio Time For Three.

When Samuel Barber’s violin concerto was rejected by the man for whom it was commissioned in 1939, he turned to his alma mater — The Curtis Institute of Music — where the concerto was performed to acclaim, leading to its official premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked to a panel of artists about Barber’s legacy, and the pleasures and perils of creating and performing new work in Philadelphia.


American violinist Benjamin Beilman is making his mark in recitals and as soloist in orchestral programs, both at home and abroad. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the 25-year-old Curtis graduate enthusiastically embraces a wide range of music. Beilman performs Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI, Sunday, May 10 at 1 pm.

Radio script:

Astral's Artists: The Sky's The Limit

Dec 13, 2012

Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, Astral Artists is an organization that represents and promotes, throughout our region, the best and brightest emerging musicians.  Astral was founded by Vera Wilson, whose vision it was to discover the most promising classical musicians residing in the United States, assist their early professional career development, and present their world-class artistry to the community through concerts and outreach programs.  Wilson knew that nurturing and empowering the talent and ingenuity of these rising stars would ensure a rich musical legacy for generations to come.  Among those who've benefited from Astral's assistance: pianists Charles Abromovic, Simone Dinnerstein and Natalie Zhu; violinists Soovin Kim, Nicolas Kendall and Ayano Ninomiya; vocalists Meredith Arwady, Indra Thomas and Robin Frye; ensembles like Time for Three and the Chiara String Quartet, and other musicians too numerous to mention.

We'll speak with Astral founder Vera Wilson, and two current Astral roster-mates, Julliard graduate flutist Julietta Curenton and Manhattan School  of Music graduate pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine, both of whom have stellar credits to their names.  Curenton and Moutouzkine will also perform duet and solo in WRTI's Performance Studio during the program.


Be sure to join us on Sunday, April 22nd from 3 to 5 pm for a special treat! Symphony in C presents Astral Rising Stars in a performance of works by Mozart, Bruch, and Nielsen. Rossen Milanov conducts the orchestra and soloists, including Benjamin Beilman (violin), Angel Hsiao (flute), and Benito Meza (clarinet).

PROGRAM:

MOZART:  Flute Concerto No. 1

BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1

NIELSEN: Clarinet Concerto

As Settlement Music School celebrates the opening of its newest branch, Jim Cotter speaks with the school's Executive Director Helen Eaton.

Susan Lewis considers Italian artist and designer Roberto Capucci, whose work is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through June 5, 2011.

And we speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Astral Artists presents the premiere of a specially commissioned work by Kernis on March 20th.

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