Elizabeth Hainen

Amanda Stevenson

It was in 1832 that the great virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini—also an extraordinary violist—became the proud new owner of a Stradivarius viola. Wanting to show it off, but frustrated by the lack of concertos featuring the instrument, he commissioned Hector Berlioz to write a work that would help him put his purchase on display.

Join us for a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast that recaptures a performance that took place in November, 2011, when Yannick Nezet-Seguin was music director designate of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the chemistry between the musicians and Yannick was already much in evidence.

All of the works on the program have an Italian theme, and represent a kind of celebration of Italian literature, culture, and landscape.

Hungarian pianist and composer Bela Bartok was born on March 25th in the year 1881. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he is revered by a prominent contemporary composer who is building on Bartok’s legacy.

Tan Dun's Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women was premiered in the U.S. by The Philadelphia Orchestra this season, and broadcast on WRTI in December, 2013.

Join us this Sunday, from 1 to 4 pm, for a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast from a series of fall 2013 concerts that introduced Philadelphia audiences to three major new works commissioned by the Orchestra.

The musicians are your hosts for Philadelphia Music Makers, a 31-episode series on WRTI that brings you up close to instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers throughout the Philadelphia region.

Each one-hour show features a classical or jazz artist - a variety of the area's best and brightest, emerging and well-established musicians, performing their favorite pieces and sharing personal and professional stories.

WRTI presents the debut episode of Philadelphia Music Makers on Sunday, September 21 from 5 to 6 pm. Elizabeth Hainen, principal harp of The Philadelphia Orchestra, launches the series.

Most of the music for Philadelphia Music Makers was recorded at WRTI's state-of–the art studios or in the German Society of Pennsylvania in Center City Philadelphia, with its lively acoustics and beautiful Bösendorfer grand piano.

Chinese composer Tan Dun has written an opera for Placido Domingo and his works have been performed by the some of the world's greatest orchestras. In addition to writing music for the Beijing Olympics, he wrote the Oscar-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is launching a mini festival of new concertos this week. But instead of the typical violin, piano, or cello soloists, the orchestra's principal harp, bassoon, and flute will be out in front, in pieces that, as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, promise to be anything but more of the same.

The harp is one of the world’s oldest instruments. And now, thanks to the efforts of Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Harpist Elizabeth Hainen, concert grand harps are once again being played in Philadelphia schools.

As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Hainen is the driving force behind The Lyra Society, an organization she founded in 2004 to promote the harp through new commissions and lessons in the Philadelphia schools.

The Lyra Society presents A Harpist's Homecoming, with Philadelphia students and former Boston Symphony Principal Harp Ann Hobson Pilot, on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 6 pm at Philadelphia High School for Girls at Broad and Olney Streets. Information here.

Listen to Elizabeth Hainen's interview with Susan Lewis about nurturing the next generation of Philadelphia harpists.

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