Winter Quiet Drive

Melissa Gilstrap

Tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna is a Philadelphia legend, but the reach of his playing extends well past his hometown. Perhaps that’s why you’ve voted him our No.7 Essential Artist.

Don’t even try to think of a bad piece of music by Antonín Dvořák, because you won't find any. Not in our book, anyway. And you thought so highly of the Bohemian master that you voted him No. 8 in our Essential Composer Countdown. Probably no one from that time had a more varied output.

You weighed the tons of concertos and voted the Red Priest your No. 9 Essential Classical Composer. Antonio Vivaldi has a reputation for having written too much similar-sounding music, but we say "fie" to that—fie; there, we said it!

George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner

The composer of Messiah will never be forgotten. But there is so much more to Handel that you voted him our 10th most essential classical composer.  Please support WRTI 90.1 during our 10-day Essential Winter Quiet Drive and Classical Countdown. Give here.

Apparently last year’s Essential Jazz Artist Countdown was missing something warm, spicy, and soulful. You have spoken and let us know that one of the toasts of New Orleans should be celebrated…you elected Wynton Marsalis your No. 10!

This year's Essential Classical and Jazz Countdowns have begun, along with our Essential Winter Quiet Drive. We’re keeping the fundraising appeals short and sweet each day, and focusing instead on your selections of WRTI 90.1’s 10 most essential classical composers and jazz artists, with one from each genre featured each day of the Drive.