The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
12:56 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: New Sound Worlds! April 26, 1 PM

Listen to Gil Shaham perform Berg's Violin Concerto with The Philadelphians on WRTI, Sunday, April 26 at 1 pm.

Four compositions, notable for their unusually imaginative explorations of distinctive sound worlds, are all featured on WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this Sunday, April 26 at 1 pm.

On the podium is guest conductor Robin Ticciati, principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who directs the radiant opening to Wagner's opera Lohengrin, the Prelude to Act I, depicting the gradual unveiling of the Holy Grail, attended by a host of angels.

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WRTI Arts Desk
5:26 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

Crash! Ting! Boom! Gong! Those Colorful Percussion Sounds

Angela Zater Nelson

The word percussion comes from the Latin word percussionem, meaning 'to strike.'  But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, playing percussion in a symphony orchestra also requires rhythm, musicality, and physical grace.

Percussion instruments can keep the beat, but they also add color. Angela Zator Nelson is The Philadelphia Orchestra’s associate principal timpani and a member of the percussion section.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
5:47 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Gergiev Conducts Russian Masterworks, April 19, 1 PM

Valery Gergiev

It's always an exciting occasion when Valery Gergiev conducts the Russian masterworks. And on this Sunday's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast at 1 pm on WRTI, Maestro Gergiev will be on the podium to direct three of the treasures of the Russian repertoire, in what was his only American symphonic guest conducting appearance this season. 

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:44 am
Thu April 16, 2015

All About Stéphane Denève

Stéphane Denève at the Kimmel Center

The Philadelphia Orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève spoke with WRTI’s Susan Lewis last year about his three-year appointment with the Orchestra - "a dream come true," he says.

Stephane Deneve discusses Peter and the Wolf:

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Philadelphia Music Makers, April 19, 5 PM
3:11 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Three Moments of Magic for David Kim

David Kim
Ryan Donnell

“You fool,” David Kim said to himself. He looked out the window at the moon. He and his wife had just seen the movie Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise as the sports agent trying to make the A-level. David Kim had spent his entire life trying to make the A-level. And it wasn’t happening.

His mother, before he was born, vowed to make him a violin star. His parents came to the U.S. from South Korea, and from Rochester, N.Y. to Western Pennsylvania to South Carolina, his mother was a true “Tiger mom,” he says, constantly pushing him to excel. She got him an audition with Dorothy DeLay at Juilliard, mentor to so many of the world’s top soloists. DeLay accepted him on the spot after what he describes as a “magical” audition.

From Clarion, Pa., the family drove eight hours for David to attend the Juilliard Pre-College Division. From South Carolina he and his mother flew once a month. Of DeLay he has the “few really happy memories” of that time; she was “sweet, genuine, soft-spoken, charismatic, motivational,” and perhaps most important of all, “encouraging.”

Three to five hours every day he practiced. He went to Aspen nine weeks each summer, but his playing regressed because, alone, he stopped pushing himself. DeLay noticed, and so did his mother. But in one phone call she was uncharacteristically subdued. When he returned home at the end of the summer, he found out that his mother was sick with cancer. She died within months. He was 14.

From the award-winning movie, Music from the Inside Out, David Kim reflects on his life:

David stopped working hard and he struggled at school. But DeLay made a plan. In six years, she said, he would get into the International Tchaikovsky Competition, and he would win one of the eight medals. They made it happen, and in the second round he “felt a certain magic happening” as he played. In 1986 David Kim was the only American violinist to win a medal. He thought his career was made.

He would learn differently. There are many competitions, and many winners, and this one prize, as fantastic as it was, “wasn’t special enough to really warrant an A-list career.” So he played lots of concerts in small halls, in churches, and puffed himself up to others. “I was living this fake life,” he confesses. And he came to a decision.

“You fool,” he said in his apartment, looking at the moon, “you are never going to be a soloist.”

So he applied for orchestra jobs, and after a string of losing auditions, he realized that “there’s an art to taking an orchestral audition.” He worked harder, kept taking them, and finally, on one day, was offered two jobs. He accepted the associate concertmaster position at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He learned enormously, and a year later, The Philadelphia Orchestra called. They were having invitation-only auditions for concertmaster. David thought this was “way out of my league” but went anyway, with “zero expectations.”

But at the Philadelphia audition magic struck again, the same feeling he had at the Tchaikovsky, the same feeling he had auditioning for Dorothy DeLay. The phone rang later, and Joseph Kluger, the Orchestra’s president at the time, asked him, “How would you feel about moving to Philadelphia?”

David admits to making mistakes early on but he grew into the concertmaster position he accepted in 1999. His Christian faith grew at the same time, and he now has a peace knowing that he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t God’s will. “Being yourself, you free yourself,” he says, and he is surrounded by an orchestra that is a positive, encouraging, and loving community.

After years of scrambling for something that didn’t exist, he is thankful for his faith, his wife, his daughters, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. In his 16th year as concertmaster, David Kim says, “I am the luckiest guy in the whole world.”

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
12:43 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Pianist Imogen Cooper Plays Beethoven: The Philadelphians on WRTI, April 12, 1 PM

Pianist Imogen Cooper
Benjamin Ealovega

Join us for a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast from this past February, that looks back to a time when concerto soloists and members of instrumental ensembles led their colleagues, while also performing themselves.

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WRTI Arts Desk
9:00 am
Mon April 6, 2015

What Is It Like to Lead the Orchestra Without a Conductor?

David Kim is concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Today, a symphony orchestra is most often - but not always - led by a conductor.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in some cases, the concertmaster may lead the group – but not from the conductor’s podium.

Radio Script:

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert
12:55 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI: Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Easter Sunday at 1 PM

St. Matthew

Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts one of the supreme monuments in Western music, and the work that initiated the great rediscovery of Bach’s music when the 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn conducted it in Berlin in 1829 – the St. Matthew Passion.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
4:22 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI: Yannick Conducts Beethoven & Shostakovich, March 29, 1 PM

Pianist Kirill Gerstein

Join us on Sunday, March 29 at 1 pm for a broadcast from the final week of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s recent St. Petersburg Festival, celebrating the great master of the third generation, Dmitri Shostakovich.

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WRTI Arts Desk
1:49 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Carol Jantsch: Taking the Tuba Beyond Oom-Pah-Pahs

Carol Jantsch is prinicpial tuba player for The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The largest member of an orchestra’s brass section was invented in the 1830s to play low and powerful notes. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the tuba has a surprising range and versatility. Susan spoke with Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Tuba Carol Jantsch for some insight into the world of the tuba.

Jantsch's recordings include her 2009 solo album, Cascades, and Reflections on the Mississippi, a new CD featuring a tuba concerto written by Michael Daugherty for Jantsch and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra.

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