Johannes Brahms

This Sunday, April 23rd, WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast brings us Mozart and Brahms, featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson. Herbert Blomstedt, who turns 90 this season, is on the podium and returns to Verizon Hall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his Philadelphia Orchestra debut.

Credit: Chris Lee

Join us on Easter Sunday to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra conclude its chronological survey of Brahms’ magisterial four symphonies with a performance of his Symphony No. 4, on WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast from 1 to 3 pm.

Johannes Brahms' last work was composed for an instrument he’d not written for in decades, in a style that harkened back to J.S. Bach. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Brahms' chorale preludes for organ.

The lovable curmudgeon is on everyone’s short list of favorites, it seems, so it’s no surprise that Johannes Brahms is the No. 6 Most Essential Classical Composer by your vote. The symphonies, the Requiem, the concertos and chamber works, and piano pieces and songs—he wrote everything except an opera.

Johannes Brahms, the perfectionist, destroyed many of his early works. Yet he kept his first published piece of chamber music, even after revising it 35 years later. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with violinist Joshua Bell, who has recorded the Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8 that Brahms wrote when he was just 20 years old. 

This week’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast brings us a performance from early March, which saw the return to Philadelphia of pianist Hélène Grimaud, who performs a concerto close to her heart, the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2

Mat Hennek / DG

Unlocking the secrets in music is a joyful enterprise for pianist Helene Grimaud. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Grimaud’s approach to music and life. On Sunday, October 2nd at 1 PM on WRTI, Helene Grimaud performs Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 with The Philadelphia Orchestra.


What inspired composer and pianist Johannes Brahms to write great music? And was he preserving the past, or making way for the future?  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, pianist Orli Shaham has been exploring these questions, showcasing music by Brahms and composers who came before and after. 

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday March 1st, 2015, 5-6 pm... Continuing our survey of the year 1915, we find one of the few people of the time—composers, critics, or audience members—who liked both Brahms and Wagner, and that's Karl Goldmark. A Hungarian composer trying to make his way in Vienna, he took on other jobs in and related to music. One of those jobs was music criticism.

Stefan Malzkorn

Christoph von Dohnányi returns to the podium to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in a program of German masterpieces performed this past April at Verizon Hall, culminating in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, one of the most perfectly crafted works ever written!

Also on the program, Brahms’s Haydn Variations; which almost certainly gave Brahms the confidence to complete his long-awaited First Symphony.  In it, Brahms transforms a simple, lilting melody into a tour-de-force for orchestra.

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