This past December, Michael Tilson Thomas, substituting on short notice for an ailing Yannick Nezet-Seguin, joined pianist Hélène Grimaud for a Philadelphia Orchestra concert that featured the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, and the Symphonie fantastique of Hector Berlioz. The concert had been performed only days earlier at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the reviews were sensational.
A symphonic self portrait that premiered in 1830 has become one of the most-performed works in the orchestral repertoire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis discusses this epitome of romantic program music with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
January 28, 1936: The Publication in Pravda of the Article "Chaos Instead of Music." This article signaled Stalin’s displeasure with Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and led to the composer’s “redemption” in his Symphony No. 5. This program will explore Shostakovich and the sometimes mutually beneficial, sometimes terrifying, relationship between music and the totalitarian state. Suzanne Vega and Michael Tilson Thomas host. Sunday, July 28, 5 to 6 pm.
It was April 7, 18o5: Beethoven turned the music world on its ear at the premiere of what - up until that time - was the longest, most complicated symphonic work ever composed. His 3rd symphony, the Eroica, changed our idea of what music could express.
Instead of classical form and rarified beauty, the symphony laid out the full range of human feelings and emotions. The first public performance of Beethoven's Eroica is the theme for this Sunday's show. March 24, 4 to 5 pm.
The San Francisco Symphony’s radio project, The Keeping Score Series: 13 Days When Music Changed Forever, is about musical revolutions—about the composers, compositions, and musical movements that changed the way people heard, or thought about, music. Each program explores the historical backdrop and the musical precursors to the revolutionary change, as well as the lasting influence of that moment in music history.
This week's program: October 29, 1787: The Premiere of Don Giovanni in Prague With this work, Mozart attains his maturity and writes a masterpiece that dominates opera forever, echoing in Wagner and beyond. Suzanne Vega is host. Sunday, February 10, 5 to 6 pm.
Jim Cotter speaks with Fiach Mac Conghail, artistic director of Dublin's Abbey Theatre - the national theater of Ireland. Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents the Abbey Theatre production of Mark O'Rowe's Terminus from February 16 to 20, 2011, as part of the Philadelphia Irish Theatre Festival.
David Patrick Stearns profiles Michael Tilson Thomas as the veteran conductor leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in a series of concerts.
Tom Keels looks at efforts to secure a future for the venerable ocean liner the SS United States.
Jim Cotter speaks with Michael Tilson Thomas. The music director of the San Francisco Symphony and artistic director of the New World Symphony conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra in concerts this week.
Jason Peifer previews the Philadelphia Improv Festival, an annual event that highlights the growth in unscripted comedy in the region.
David Patrick Stearns profiles the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.
Susan Lewis visits the Sketch Club and the Plastic Club on Philadelphia's Camac Street - the Avenue of the Artists.