Christoph Eschenbach

Join us on Sunday, August 23 at 1 pm for The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI. In this January, 2015 concert, Christoph Eschenbach, Philadelphia Orchestra music director from 2003 to 2008, returns to Verizon Hall to lead this all-German program. And the Orchestra’s principal horn Jennifer Montone plays the Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1.

Former Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Christoph Eschenbach was awarded The Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for a life in the service of music this past May.

As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, music helped heal the emotional wounds Eschenbach suffered as a child in World War II, after he lost both parents. Eschenbach’s mother died at his birth, and his father, an active anti-Nazi, died in a punishment battalion sent to the front. Rescued from a refugee camp in 1945 by his mother’s cousin, the five-year-old Christoph didn’t speak for a year—until he started piano lessons.

This past May, pianist and conductor - and former music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra - Christoph Eschenbach was awarded the Ernst von Siemens prize for a lifetime in the service of music.

Just prior to receiving the prestigious and much-deserved accolade, Maestro Eschenbach turned 75, and decided that it was time to step down from his current post as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC.  He commented that after 30 years of directing orchestras, perhaps it was time for a break.

It's Philadelphia Orchestra Day on WRTI!

May 7, 2015

You're in for a big treat today! We're designating a whole day of programming to our own Philadelphians - from 6 am to 6 pm. Throughout the day during classical hours, you'll hear Philadelphia Orchestra recordings under Music Directors Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph Eschenbach, and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. 

Jim Cotter speaks with Benjamin Beilman ahead of his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Recital debut. The young violinist has the potential to be "the next big thing" to emerge from the Curtis Institute.

David Patrick Stearns checks in with Christoph Eschenbach as the former Philadelphia Orchestra music director undertakes an ambitious three-week long festival in his second season in charge at the National Symphony Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's seventh music director spoke with Jill Pasternak in 2008 as he prepared for his final Philadelphia appearance with the orchestra as its Maestro. In this fascinating interview he reflects on his time here, and shares some very revealing anecdotes about his interesting life--including the story of his youth in Germany.

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Jim Cotter speaks with Christoph Eschenbach -- now in his final weeks as music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Jason Peifer takes us to the underworld of Eurydice, by Sarah Ruhl, at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. An original score from Toby Twining was composed for the Wilma's production of the play.

Susan Lewis visits the Delaware Art Museum which uses art to both tell and inspire stories.

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Jim Cotter speaks with author Steve Lopez.  His story of destitute musician Nathaniel Ayers is being made into a film starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

Susan Lewis takes us to Fashioning Kimono: Art Deco and Modernism in Japan, a new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

David Patrick Stearns looks ahead to Leon Fleisher's performance of Paul Hindemith's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the Curtis Symphony.

More Information:

Christoph Eschenbach: The Philadelphia Orchestra's music director.

River Of Gold: Pre-Columbian Treasures from Sitio Conte, an exhibition at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology showcasing artifacts discovered during the 1940 Penn excavation of a Panama cemetery

The job of a playwright (part of a continuing theater series) featuring Philly writers Thomas Gibbons, Bruce Graham, and Michael Hollinger.


Christoph Eschenbach, Philadelphia Orchestra, music director

May 19, 2007

Philadelphia Orchestra music director Christoph Eschenbach. Susan Lewis on William H. Johnson's World on Paper at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia music director Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Jason Peifer visits the Independence Seaport Museum.