The WRTI Philadelphia Orchestra Page!

Visit this page to learn all about our esteemed partner organization, The Philadelphia Orchestra. Here you'll find weekly posts with details about our Sunday Philadelphia Orchestra concert broadcasts with host Gregg Whiteside, artist and conductor interviews, insights about the the music, special offers, and more!

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Join us for a re-broadcast of a fabulous performance from 2015 featuring British composer, conductor, and pianist Bramwell Tovey performing in all three roles! In addition to conducting his own work, Songs of the Paradise Saloon, played by the brilliant trumpeter Alison Balsom, Tovey also directs the Philadelphia Orchestra in the famous Passacaglia from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, George Gershwin’s Catfish Row Suite, on tunes from the opera Porgy and Bess, and the Symphonic Dances from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.

The true story of a 19th-century swindler in New York City inspired not only an opera, but also a concerto. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Bramwell Tovey’s Songs of the Paradise Saloon for trumpet and orchestra.

It was in 1832 that the great virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini—also an extraordinary violist—became the proud new owner of a Stradivarius viola. Wanting to show it off, but frustrated by the lack of concertos featuring the instrument, he commissioned Hector Berlioz to write a work that would help him put his purchase on display.

Credit: Elias

Week Two of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Paris Festival on WRTI offers a different aspect to a program featuring music-making in the City of Light: non-French composers who moved to Paris, and decided to stay.

Credit: Rob Shanahan

The trumpet was the instrument of kings, in court and on the battlefield. Today the orchestral trumpet is an instrument for virtuosos, and used for a variety of purposes. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

C'est magnifique! The Philadelphia Orchestra’s three-week Paris Festival is on WRTI starting this Sunday, March 5th at 1 pm!  Six French composers, in works conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, are featured in Week One: Chabrier, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Canteloube, Ravel and Florent Schmitt.

Credit: Jessica Griffin

The largest, lowest non-brass woodwind instrument in the orchestra evokes darkness, romance, humor, and joy. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more about the contrabassoon.

Jessica Griffin

Hollywood may have typecast the bassoon as comedic star, but Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa fills us in on the instrument’s great lyrical expressiveness. WRTI's Susan Lewis has the story.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Credit: By Anonymous, possibly by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni (1721-1782) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this Sunday, February 26, from 1 to 3 pm, celebrates Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—the prodigy, and the master, with performances of his First Symphony, written at age eight, and his final one, the 41st Symphony​, composed a quarter century later.

This Sunday at 1 pm, it’s a memorable re-broadcast from 2014 of the fast-paced, one-act opera Salome. Among the most important musical works of the 20th century, it stands out for its revolutionary use of a large-scale orchestra and virtuosic singers, as much as for its graphic depiction of this deeply psychological tale. It's performed in a historic, joint production by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia.

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