The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert

Sunday, 1 to 3 pm on WRTI-FM; Monday, 7 to 9 pm on Classical Stream

Join us on Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra in live, recorded concerts from Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center.

The ensemble has a long and venerable history of radio broadcasts, as the first orchestra with its own commercially sponsored national radio series, beginning in 1929 on NBC. This weekly series of radio broadcasts marks the return of the Orchestra to the airwaves. WRTI's Gregg Whiteside is producer and host.

Weekly broadcasts in October from Saratoga Springs, NY

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Ways to Connect

On Sunday, October 21st at 1 pm, listen to Jennifer Koh play Bernstein on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI broadcast from Saratoga. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it's part of an ongoing celebration of the Renaissance man who influenced so many, including Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

While a classical concerto most commonly features one soloist, Béla Bartók’s concerto for orchestra highlights many sections of the ensemble. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it became one of Bartók’s most popular works.

Johannes Plennio/Unsplash

It was the summer of 1934. At his villa in Switzerland near Lake Lucerne, Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 comprised of 24 variations. The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, premiered the work in November, 1934 with Rachmaninoff himself as soloist in Baltimore. It was an immediate success.

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.

Credit: Art Streiber

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.

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.


Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on Sunday, September 16th and Monday, September 17th at 7 pm on HD-2 begins and ends with the colors of Hungarian folk music, and features the first Philadelphia performance of a concerto by Jennifer Higdon. Cristian Măcelaru conducts.

Four Philadelphia Orchestra brass players routinely sit together in the back of the orchestra. But for a new work by Jennifer Higdon, they all move to the front of the stage—as soloists and chamber musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with the quartet and composer about the surprising sounds we don't often hear from the low brass.


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