Ludwig van Beethoven

Jan Regan/Philadelphia Orchestra

On the stage of China's National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing—just a month ago—Yannick Nézet-Séguin, stood before his Philadelphia Orchestra and spoke to an audience that included sponsors, patrons, musicians, diplomats, Chinese government officials and business leaders, as well as delegations from Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7—the Allegretto—has captivated listeners since the symphony’s 1813 premiere, when it was so popular that the orchestra used it as an encore. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on why this particular movement continues to engages us.

Finding Inner Peace Listening to Beethoven

May 14, 2017

How can classical music change your outlook on life? Beethoven’s life and music may hold a key. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks to conductor Cristian Macelaru about Beethoven's ability to connect with the humanity in all of us.

When Beethoven Traded Despair for Triumph

Apr 30, 2017

It was the fall of 1802 when Ludwig van Beethoven confessed his nearly fatal despair about his growing deafness, in what’s now known as his "Heiligenstadt Testament." His music then took a daring new turn. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas about Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica."

Four notes (the first three of which are the same) say “classical music” to more people around the world than any other bit of music anyone else has ever written. When Ludwig van Beethoven finally chose those notes, he not only figured out the beginning of his Fifth Symphony and branded classical music forever, he also staked a claim—with an audacity and a power unlike anyone else before or since—to be recognized as “the” composer of classical music.

This Sunday, January 22nd, at 1 pm, newly appointed music director of the National Symphony, Gianandrea Noseda conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in a program that whirls from dance to jazz to Beethoven.

Credit: Benjamin Ealovega

Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony highlights The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast on WRTI this Sunday, November 6th at 1 pm, but there’s so much more. The Violin Concerto of John Williams and Ravel’s well-loved Pavane round out a brilliant program conducted by the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève.

Imagine you're a teenager in Beijing in the 1960s and '70s, during the Cultural Revolution. Everything that's deemed Western and bourgeois is banned — so listening to a 78 rpm recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, powerfully transformative as it might be, is off limits.

Credit Mathias Botho

Join us to hear the first concert in The Philadelphia Orchestra’s "Music of Vienna" series, recorded live last January at Verizon Hall. Pianist Jan Lisiecki, an audience favorite at only 20 years old, will be the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.

Mention the music of Vienna, and some of us automatically think of a waltz. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the city was a musical magnet for composers, especially from the late 18th century through the 19th and beyond.


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