The Philadelphia Orchestra

WRTI Arts Desk
5:14 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

Dmitri Shostakovich's Music Speaking to New Generations

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Twentieth-century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich composed much of his work under the shadow of political oppression. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today, his music and his personal story continue to inspire a new generation.

On Sunday, July 12 at 1 pm on WRTI, Lisa Batiashvili performs Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast.

Radio script: 

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:30 am
Fri July 3, 2015

What's Close to Sarah Chang's Heart?

Violinist Sarah Chang
Cliff Waatt

At the age of 8, violinist Sarah Chang was featured as soloist with the New York Philharmonic. Soon afterwards, she played with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Today, she has a full career playing with orchestras all over the world. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles this busy artist, who still calls the Philadelphia area home.

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WRTI Spotlight
12:42 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Sarah Chang is Soloist! Sunday, July 5, 1 PM

Violinist Sarah Chang
Colin Bell

The music of Beethoven and Dvořák frame works by Gyorgy Ligeti and George Enescu - two composers very familiar to The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Conductor-in-Residence, Cristian Macelaru on WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this Sunday, July 5th at 1 pm.

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WRTI Special Offers
2:09 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Special Offer: Save 25% on Philadelphia Orchestra All-Beethoven Concert at the Mann Center, July 25

WRTI listeners! Here's a special offer to enjoy a night of Beethoven performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center on July 25th.

If ever there was a musician whose battle cry was “freedom” it was Ludwig van Beethoven. His Leonore Overture No. 3 relates the heroic conviction of a woman to free her husband from certain doom. The Piano Concerto No. 2 was composed for his own astonishing virtuoso technique. And the Symphony No. 5 has become so much more than a symphony – its famous first four notes have been turned into a Morse code phrase for "victory." Its propulsive energy and journey escalate towards a finale that has long transcended the concert hall and given hope to oppressed people everywhere.

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WRTI Special Offers
9:59 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Special Offer: Save 25% on Philadelphia Orchestra All-Gershwin Concert at the Mann Center, June 26th

George Gershwin (1898-1937)

Join the Philadelphia Orchestra as they perform "A Night of Gershwin" at the Mann Center on June 26th. Celebrate the breadth of George Gershwin’s legacy with one of his most effervescent musical masterworks - Rhapsody in Blue; the first, and widely considered the finest American opera - Porgy and Bess; and the ultimate musical postcard to the folks back home - An American in Paris. Cristian Măcelaru, conductor. Terrence Wilson, piano. Norman Garrett, baritone. Taylor Johnson, soprano

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:03 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Animals in Classical Music? It's Not Just for Kids!

There’s some great classical music not often played at adult concert series. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor points to several under-performed masterworks that speak to everyone.

Radio script:

Music: Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
6:20 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Viva l'Italia! Yannick Nezet-Seguin Conducts The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI, June 14, 1 PM

Yannick Nezet-Seguin

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.

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Crossover
3:22 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

The Reluctant Trailblazer: Philadelphia Orchestra Harpist Edna Phillips

Emil Rhodes, Family Collection

Harpist Edna Phillips was only 23 when she joined The Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in 1930. The story goes that the orchestra was looking for a second chair harpist, and Phillips' teacher at Curtis, Carlos Salzedo, insisted that she audition.

She was somewhat reluctant.  After all, she'd only been playing the harp for five years, coming to the instrument late in life after spending time with the piano.  But sometimes all it takes is being in the right place at the right time.

After her audition, Stokowski revealed that the orchestra's principal harpist had been badly injured and would not be returning.  He wanted Phillips to fill the chair.  This would make her not only the first woman in The Philadelphia Orchestra, but the first woman to be a principal player in ANY American orchestra.

In Phillips' later years, she was chair of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia where she hired Mary Sue Welsh, a retired editor of children's books. The two would become close friends.  At one point, Phillips suggested to Welsh that they work together on a memoir of her life as a harpist. But, when Phillips passed on in 2003, Welsh tossed it aside.  

Eventually, Welsh returned to the idea, and started working on a Phillips biography, talking to the harpist's family, friends, and co-workers, and using archival material.  Recently published, the book is called, One Woman in a Hundred, and is part of the University of Illinois Press' "Music in American Life" series.

Listen for Jill Pasternak's conversation with author Mary Sue Welsh on the life and times of Edna Phillips, and hear excerpts from the author's taped conversations with the harpist, along with music performed by her, on Crossover, Saturday, June 22nd at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM and the All-Classical stream at wrti.org, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on HD-2 and the All-Classical stream.

WRTI Arts Desk
11:32 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Yannick Nezet-Seguin On The Highs and Lows of the Orchestra's European Tour

Yannick Nezet-Seguin at Royal Festival Hall in London.
Jan Regan

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s three-week swing through Germany, France, Holland and England left cheering audiences in its wake. Minutes before going onstage at London’s Royal Festival Hall for the final concert of the tour, Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns what made him the happiest.

David Patrick Stearns: The Viennese were the toughest. The Londoners were the smartest. The Parisians were...well, Yannick Nezet-Seguin explained it best.

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WRTI Arts Desk
4:29 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

The Pines of Rome: A Musical Portrait

Born in Bologna in 1879, Italian violinist, violist, conductor and composer Ottorino Respighi moved to Rome in 1913.  He became internationally recognized for his trilogy of symphonic poems celebrating the  fountains, pines, and festivals of the city.

WRTI's Susan Lewis considers The Pines of Rome, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. She spoke with organist Michael Stairs and Associate Principal Clarinet Samuel Caviezel. 

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