Credit: Art Streiber

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Tchaikovsky and Tilson Thomas

In a first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance of a work by composer-conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, this week's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on WRTI 90.1 will feature his Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind . Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 pm, and Monday night, Sept. 24 at 7 pm on HD-2.

Read More

History has painted composer Anton Bruckner as a simple man who gave the world complex and innovative symphonies. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Bruckner’s 8th, which premiered in December of 1892.

August 6, 2018. Over the years, saxophonist Rob Dixon has proven he can bring the funk. On Coast To Crossroads, the funk is still brought, and so is the rest of his musical capability.

In June, NPR reported the Philadelphia Orchestra's admission that it had not programmed a single piece of music composed by a woman for its upcoming 2018-19 season. Jeremy Rothman, the orchestra's vice president of artistic planning, said at the time the omission was "obviously a blind spot and an oversight."

Dario Acosta

People light up when you recognize and value them. To have high regard for the individual and to understand their contribution: that’s been my guidepost. If people feel they’re striving for the same goal as everyone around them, it creates a wonderful sense of unity.”

Mozart himself never went to Havana, but his music thrives there. WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on a 2017 project of American pianist Simone Dinnerstein and a Cuban orchestra with ties to Vienna.

August 1, 2018.  It’s not new by any stretch, but it is new to us.  Alfred Brendel Live in Vienna is actually quite a find for lovers of this great pianist. Brendel has been making recordings for half a century, and yet there is still much we haven’t heard. 

Louis Armstrong was to jazz what Einstein was to physics, King to Civil Rights, Shakespeare to comedy and tragedy, and Oprah to televised entertainment. He taught the trumpet to do things the instrument didn't know it was capable of doing, and he could turn a song upside down with that deep, gravelly voice.

July 30, 2018.  Satchmo. Dippermouth. Pops. All nicknames used to address one of the most influential artists in jazz history—Louis Armstrong.  To honor the anniversary of Armstrong’s birth in New Orleans on August 4, 1901, Verve Records is releasing an amazing four-disc set showcasing the legend’s unique vocal style.  Pops Is Tops: The Verve Studio Albums is truly tops!

July 23, 2018.  A marvelous disc of music by three French composers makes up a new release by the Neave Trio.  On French Moments the chamber ensemble performs three trios: one each, by Debussy, Fauré and Roussel.  In fact,  the CD contains the only piano trios by these composers.

The Allentown Band's first documented performance was July 4th, 1828. Almost two centuries later, the ensemble is going strong, playing old favorites, connecting with the community, and looking to the future. WRTI's Susan Lewis spoke with the Band's longtime conductor and music director, Ronald Demkee. 

Pages

WRTI Arts Desk

September 24, 2018. Ever since Leonard Bernstein introduced him to televeision audiences as a 7-year-old prodigy, cellist Yo-Yo Ma has captured the public’s imagination over a 50-plus year career. From concert stage appearances, to Sesame Street, to American Presidential inaugurations, Yo-Yo Ma is a shining presence everywhere. Our album of the week showcases why.

A melody in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony was made famous to fans of Eric Carmen’s pop tune “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again.” But in the symphony, that melody leads to one of the most beautiful, and difficult, clarinet solos in the literature. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has the story.

Peter Ralston

If you think of Andrew Wyeth primarily as a realist landscape painter who bucked the trends of the mid 20th-century art world, get ready to meet the artist anew.  The documentary film WYETH sheds new light on his life and art, through conversations with the people he knew as family, neighbors and subjects, and archival interviews with the artist himself. 

By Office of Emergency Management [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

America was celebrating its bicentennial when Michael Tilson Thomas first became intrigued by a Carl Sandburg poem. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, nearly 40 years later,  he premiered his musical setting of  Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind with a cautionary message still relevant today.


Jordan August/Mann Center for the Performing Arts

It's football season! We're excited to watch the plays on the field from the snaps to the passes to the touchdowns. Football also means music. WRTI's Susan Lewis went to NFL Films in Mount Laurel, NJ to get the scoop about how football films use the rich sound of orchestral music to help tell their stories.

More Arts Desk Stories