Yannick Nézet-Séguin

After considerable speculation, the Metropolitan Opera announced today that Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will become its next music director, replacing longtime director James Levine. The Philadelphia Orchestra simultaneously announced that Nézet-Séguin has extended his tenure with the orchestra to 10 years, through the 2025-2026 season. Because of Nézet-Séguin’s previous commitments, the Met appointment will not be fully phased in until the Met’s 2020-2021 season.

Austrian composer Anton Webern became famous as a member of the "Second Viennese School," known for writing atonal music. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, an early work—officially premiered decades after Webern’s death—shows another side to the 20th-century modernist.

History will be made when The Philadelphia Orchestra kicks off its 2016 Asia Tour with two concerts at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. And you'll be right there! WRTI's Gregg Whiteside is traveling across the globe to China to bring you both performances live, in real time, on WRTI. Tune in at 90.1 FM in Philadelphia, or listen online at WRTI.org.

The Philadelphia Orchestra opens its 2016 Asia tour in Hong Kong with a pair of live WRTI broadcasts on May 19th and 20th with repertoire that includes, surprisingly, Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 — showing how Chinese concert presenters and audiences have evolved. Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports that collaborating with presenters can still be challenging.

Join us this Easter Sunday at 1 pm to hear a Philadelphia Orchestra concert that actually kicked off the holiday season in grand style this past December. WRTI will broadcast a joyous performance of Handel's Messiah, with a world-class roster of vocalists, a chorus of talented voices from throughout our region, and the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra, all conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

Although Handel’s Messiah is now regularly performed during the Christmas holidays, the work was actually premiered in the spring before Easter. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the fantastically successful masterpiece, which was created by necessity in just 24 days over two centuries ago.

It was on the 2nd of March, 100 years ago, that The Philadelphia Orchestra was, in effect, introduced to the world. The stage of the Academy of Music had to be extended, at considerable expense, to accommodate the enormous vocal and orchestral forces for the first United States performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the so-called “Symphony of a Thousand.”

A thriving classical music world involves not only composers and performers, but those who listen, and those who manage, connect, and promote the artists and the art form. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Musical America, a publication that has been celebrating and connecting classical musicians since 1898:

Mat Hennek

Quite a few classical composers have found artistic inspiration in one of the planet’s most important natural resources. WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on pianist Helene Grimaud's new recording of a collection of works reflecting on...water.

The recording industry gives out the GRAMMY Awards, and WRTI’s Kile Smith looks at the classical categories, which include some local names.