Guest conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in a concert from last March that offers the spirit of Mozart a connecting thread. Perhaps not surprising since, in 1787, the 16-year-old Beethoven traveled to Vienna from his native Bonn to study with Mozart. Though little is known about their encounter, Beethoven, according to legend, impressed the master, but could stay in Vienna only a short time before being called home to tend to his dying mother. Although he never would never see Mozart again, who had died by the time he returned to Vienna to study with Haydn, Beethoven greatly esteemed him as a model.
In the first half of the program this afternoon, we’ll hear one of Mozart’s most dramatic piano concertos, Number 20, in the passionate key of D minor, one which Beethoven himself particularly admired, and for which he in fact wrote the cadenzas that pianist Rudolph Buchbinder will perform.
During intermission, we’ll hear from both maestros Dohnanyi and Buchbinder as they speak with WRTI's Jim Cotter. The program will conclude with Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, a turning point not only in Beethoven’s career, but in the history of music!
The concert begins with one of Witold Lutoslawski's most accessible and highly expressive works from the 1940s and '50s, his Funeral Music. Gregg Whiteside is host and producer. Sunday, July 14, 2 to 4 pm.
His name is Yannick Nezet-Seguin, but in a New York Times profile, he was nicknamed Mighty Mouse by the opera star Joyce DiDonato. After all, he seems to have saved the day more than once for The Philadelphia Orchestra. And, as David Patrick Stearns reports, he hopes to continue to do so in the upcoming season.
Here's a great opportunity to hear The Philadelphians this summer at The Mann Center – at 25% off tickets for two concerts: From Russian Romance To Revolution on July 31, and Van Cliburn: A Tribute on August 1.
Check out the details below about each performance. Use the discount code: WRTI when purchasing your tickets. Ticket prices: $49.50, $35, $17.50. (*Discount not available for lawn seats)
From Russian Romance To Revolution Wednesday, July 31, 8 pm Kiril Karabits, conductor
Join us to hear The Philadelphians in a live concert recording from October, 2012, featuring Bernstein’s Serenade, Brahms’s Symphony No. 4, and Gabriela Lena Frank’s Concertino Cusqueno. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts. Violinist Joshua Bell is soloist. Gregg Whiteside is producer and host. Sunday, June 30, 2 to 4 pm.
Gabriela Lena Frank - Concertino Cusqueño (world premiere) Bernstein - Serenade (after Plato's Symposium) INTERMISSION Brahms - Symphony No. 4
Mary Sue Welsh discusses the life and career of Edna Phillips on Crossover, June 22nd, 2013.
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.
On Sunday, June 23 at 2 pm, WRTI’s broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert features a world-renowned singer who is at home in many genres. Simon Rattle leads the Philadelphians in a program that features soprano Barbara Hannigan singing Berg’s Three Fragments from Wozzeck, and Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre. While Hannigan’s repertoire includes a wide range of classical masters, she’s become especially renowned for her innovative performances of contemporary music.
The concert also includes Webern’s Passacaglia and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6.
Simon Rattle will be back on the podium this Sunday at 2 pm for a Philadelphia Orchestra performance from late May of Beethoven’s "Pastoral" Symphony, with its vivid scenes of gathering thunderstorms, wandering brooks, and breezy countrysides. We’ll also hear Webern's Passacaglia, and Three fragments from Alban Berg's shattering opera Wozzeck, both of which received their U.S. premieres in Philadelphia as part of Leopold Stokowski's vision for 20th-century music.
We're happy to offer a discount for all WRTI listeners to a special performance: The Philadelphia Orchestra at Longwood Gardens Meadow - A Night of Beautiful Music Under the Stars. It's on Friday, July 19th at 7:30 pm. Save $5 per ticket by using Discount Code: GARDENS13. (*Discount only applies to Friday night concert.)