Ricardo Morales

Join us this Sunday, from 1 to 3 pm, for a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from mid April that brings us two Philadelphia Orchestra commissions – Maurice Wright’s Resounding Drums, a timpani concerto composed for the Orchestra’s principal timpanist, Don Liuzzi, and the Clarinet Concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff, composed for the principal clarinetist of the Philadelphians, Ricardo Morales.

When the Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned Jonathan Leshnoff to write a concerto for principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales, the composer realized a connection between the clarinet and...the Hebrew alphabet. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder explains.


The Philadelphia Orchestra's Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales shows off his virtuosic skills in two very different and very challenging works in this Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert re-broadcast, Sunday, August 16, 1 to 3 pm.

Competitions have tested serious music students for decades. They also have prompted the composition of works that continue to enrich the repertoire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Claude Debussy’s Rhapsody No. 1 for Clarinet and Orchestra.

Stefan Malzkorn

Christoph von Dohnányi returns to the podium to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in a program of German masterpieces performed this past April at Verizon Hall, culminating in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, one of the most perfectly crafted works ever written!

Also on the program, Brahms’s Haydn Variations; which almost certainly gave Brahms the confidence to complete his long-awaited First Symphony.  In it, Brahms transforms a simple, lilting melody into a tour-de-force for orchestra.

Classical serenades by chamber ensembles were often light, outdoor entertainment in late 18th-century Vienna. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this week’s WRTI concert broadcast of the Philadelphia Orchestra features one of the more ambitious creations in the genre.

Musicians are, understandably, very particular about the instruments they play. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a principal player in the Philadelphia Orchestra was so interested in refining his instrument, he wound up creating a whole line of clarinets.

The clarinet is a versatile woodwind instrument that has evolved from its 18th-century beginnings. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, classical composers have used it to create a variety of moods.   Philadelphia Orchestra's Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales illustrates some of the different sounds the clarinet can create, including the cuckoo sound, used by Beethoven in his Symphony No. 6.

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast on WRTI on Sunday, September 8th at 2 pm to hear the Orchestra perform Beethoven's sixth symphony. Also on the program is music by Webern, Berg, and Ligeti.

Classical music is a complex art form, and learning an instrument well takes not only talent but many hours, days, and years of lessons and practice. While the talent necessary to play an orchestral instrument hasn’t changed much over the years, today, Internet and video technology are offering  new ways of teaching and learning an instrument, with the potential to connect large numbers of  students with some of the best musicians in the world.