Join us for another broadcast in our series of operas from the Academy of Vocal Arts. AVA Opera Theater is currently presenting Charles Gounod’s Faust, in a series of performances throughout the Delaware Valley. Additional performances are scheduled for Centennial Hall at the Haverford School, Haverford on May 5th, and Central Bucks East High School, Doylestown on May 9th. Listen on WRTI this Sunday, May 3, from 3 to 6 pm.
The acclaimed Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, under Music Director Louis Scaglione, returns to WRTI with a Mother's Day concert broadcast. The program, recorded at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall this past February, opens with a performance of Shotsakovich's lively Festive Overture. Then, Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Richard Amoroso plays the Beethoven Violin Concerto. The closing work on the program is a Tchaikovsky favorite, the Symphony No. 5 in E minor.
Jack Moore is your host on Sunday, May 10 at 3 pm on WRTI.
For the final week of Jazz Appreciation Month, we're presenting our favorite hidden gems from our jazz library. Join us at 7 pm, 9:30 pm, 12:30 am and 5:30 am as we uncover these precious pieces, and tell you why they are so special to us. Bob Perkins, Zivit, Jeff Duperon, Maureen Malloy, Bob Craig and J. Michael Harrison have had a blast featuring their favorites for you this April. Please continue to tune into the station that appreciates jazz every month!
1. Bob Perkins: Patrick Williams Big Band - Mandeville - Aurora
Join us for a live broadcast of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ballroom Dance), conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. This is Maestro Levine's first network broadcast of this opera since 1997. Piotr Beczala makes a network role debut as the self-destructive King Gustavo III of Sweden, opposite Sondra Radvanovsky as Amelia, the woman he loves.
It’s always a special occasion when Philadelphia native Sarah Chang appears with The Philadelphia Orchestra. And she’ll be here on May 7, 8 and 9 for performances of Antonin Dvorak’s Violin Concerto, conducted by the Philadelphia Orchestra's Conductor-in-Residence Cristian Macelaru.
Mozart and Verdi make up the program for this month's Applause! broadcast on WRTI from the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Guest conductor Nir Kabaretti led the concert in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center this past March. The internationally acclaimed conductor is music director of the South West Florida Symphony and continues his tenure as music and artistic director of the Santa Barbara Symphony.
Join us for The Metropolitan Opera's live broadcast of opera’s most enduring, tragic double bill. Marcelo Álvarez rises to the challenge of playing the dual tenor roles of Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.Eva-Maria Westbroek (Cav) and Patricia Racette (Pag) are the unlucky heroines, and George Gagnidze sings both Alfio and Tonio.
Our Jazz Appreciation Month celebration continues during the week of April 20th by shining the spotlight on artists right here in our region. Our jazz hosts present their favorite recordings from a local jazz artist each night at 7 pm, 9:30 pm 12:30 am, and 5:30 am.
Bob Craig, Zivit, Bob Perkins, Jeff Duperon, Maureen Malloy and J. Michael Harrison have some great tunes cued up for you! Here are some of their favorites:
1. Jeff Duperon: Orrin Evans - Don't Fall Off the L.E.J - Captain Black
Pianist Charles Abramovic speaks about, and performs, Chopin's Nocturne in C Sharp minor.
His own piano teacher told him he wouldn’t get into Curtis, but that he ought to audition anyway, for the experience. So, two weeks after traveling from Pittsburgh with his mother to play for Rudolf Serkin and Eleanor Sokoloff, Charles Abramovic received a letter from the Curtis Institute of Music. He was accepted.
Abramovic has been surprising people his whole life, and it’s easy to see why. His family had almost no interest in music of any kind, let alone classical, although he does remember a Dave Brubeck record in the house. What did he like most about the LP? The bass player.
He did begin piano lessons at age six after his kindergarten teacher noted that he reacted to music “differently” from the other kids, and four years later was playing in the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Playing double bass, that is, although he would take on symphonic piano parts, too.
By this time he was studying piano with Natalie Phillips, whose husband Eugene was a violist and violinist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as well as composer, and whose sons Daniel and Todd would one day be renowned violinists in the Orion String Quartet. Abramovic remembers private lessons morphing into coaching and chamber music soirées with the Phillips family. Before long he was playing the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on a Pittsburgh Symphony Young People’s Concert. It was clear that music was calling him.
Or maybe it was psychoanalysis. His “light reading” in eighth grade, he confesses, was The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud. But Abramovic decided against that as a profession and went with music, although he later discovered that a large part of private teaching is helping students of all personality types and backgrounds. He wonders if it may have produced another benefit, as he did marry the daughter of a psychoanalyst, the cellist, conductor, and composer Heidi Jacob.
After Curtis (where he also played double bass in their orchestra) and Peabody, he earned his DMA at Temple University, with the music of Croatia as his research topic. The Abramović (pronounced Abramovich) family is from that area, and the music fascinates him.
Abramovic as pianist with Mimi Stillman’s Dolce Suono, here playing Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango:
He loves, and plays, the standard piano repertoire, but Abramovic likes to take surprising paths. A favorite is Charles Ives. He’s performed the monumental Concord Sonata (which hardly anyone will attempt), but knows the entire Ives catalog, which has inspired another surprise: Charles Abramovic, composer. His piece Unanswered Hands, for three pianists—piano six-hands, that is—throws in “as many musical memories from childhood” as he could fit. In the same way that Ives uses hymns, marches, and everything else in a piece like The Unanswered Question, Abramovic “out-quotes Ives,” he claims, in a work filled with nostalgia and humor.
He has been a professor at Temple since 1990, and enjoys a career in Philadelphia and beyond as a sought-after soloist, accompanist, chamber musician, and recording artist. One of the most affable and humorous of musicians, he nevertheless cannot hide a ferocious talent that has left not a few shaking their heads over the ease with which he negotiates the most blistering piano writing.
Whether it’s Ives, Babbitt, tango, jazz, rags, new music, his own music, or simply making the impossible look easy, Charles Abramovic is ever full of surprises.
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.