Classical Album of the Week: Black Composers Series, Recordings from 1974 to 1978

February 18, 2019. Between 1974 and 1978, a series of new recordings highlighted symphonic and other orchestral works by Black composers written over two centuries. Now, these nine albums are being re-released along with a tenth bonus CD of symphonic spirituals. Featuring major orchestras and soloists, the Black Composers Series 1974-1978 is our classical album of the week.

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Join us on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast to hear two spiritually inspired works for soloists, chorus, and orchestra that couldn't be more different. 

Kristin Hoebermann

With wide ranging repertoire and a variety of roles, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong has been described by Opera Magazine as someone who can truly "sing it all." She talked with WRTI's Susan Lewis about finding the human element in every work.


Acclaimed mandolin virtuoso Caterina Lichtenberg records, teaches and tours the world. Ahead of her performance with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, she visits WRTI  on Thursday, February 21st, to play music by Bach and other composers, and chat with WRTI's Susan Lewis. 

Courtesy of the artist

Join us on WRTI 90.1 on Friday, February 22 at 12:10 PM to hear a live performance by cellist Timotheos Petrin, an Astral artist. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder will host and accompany Tim at the piano. Tune in to hear this dynamic, young Greek cellist in a program of lyricism, lush harmony, and energy.

February 18, 2019. On Move On: A Sondheim Adventure, Cyrille Aimée’s ninth album, we get one of contemporary jazz’s most distinctive voices without the band we've come to strongly associate with her sound. Though longtime fans of Cyrille's trademark gypsy swing needn't despair—the Django Reinhardt influence is still present, nowhere more so than on "So Many People," where Aimée is joined by longtime collaborator, the superb French guitarist, Adrien Moignard.

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

A self-described "research geek," classical violinist Rachel Barton Pine has a passion for discovering new repertoire and turning kids on to classical music. That drive and commitment fuels her Black Composers Project, now out with its first volume of violin music by Black composers for music students. 

February 18, 2019.  Between 1974 and 1978, a series of new recordings highlighted symphonic and other orchestral works by Black composers written over two centuries.   Now, these nine albums are being re-released along with a tenth bonus CD of symphonic spirituals.  Featuring major orchestras and soloists, the Black Composers Series 1974-1978 is our classical album of the week.  

Winold Reiss/Wikpedia Commons

Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians.

Credit: Kevin Monko

She keeps you company on weekends as host and producer of Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse. Now, we‘re happy to welcome Debra Lew Harder as our new Classical Midday Host from 10 AM to 2 PM, Tuesdays through Fridays.

Pierre Lidar

Acclaimed as "strikingly virtuosic" (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and "what triumph looks like" (The Philadelphia Inquirer), Imani Winds has forged its own path through the international classical music world. The quintet visited WRTI on February 14th to perform highlights of their upcoming Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert. WRTI's Susan Lewis, host.

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Kristin Hoebermann

With wide ranging repertoire and a variety of roles, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong has been described by Opera Magazine as someone who can truly "sing it all." She talked with WRTI's Susan Lewis about finding the human element in every work.


Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

A self-described "research geek," classical violinist Rachel Barton Pine has a passion for discovering new repertoire and turning kids on to classical music. That drive and commitment fuels her Black Composers Project, now out with its first volume of violin music by Black composers for music students. 

February 18, 2019.  Between 1974 and 1978, a series of new recordings highlighted symphonic and other orchestral works by Black composers written over two centuries.   Now, these nine albums are being re-released along with a tenth bonus CD of symphonic spirituals.  Featuring major orchestras and soloists, the Black Composers Series 1974-1978 is our classical album of the week.  

Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones know him as sword master Syrio Forel, who trains the young Arya Stark in the deadly art. Actor Miltos Yerolemou is also famous in the opera world for his role as Puck, the mischievous acrobatic fairy in Robert Carsen's staging of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, now making its U.S. debut with Opera Philadelphia, Feb. 8th to 17th.

February 11, 2019. Pat Bianchi, by now a bonafide jazz star in his own right, may always be thought of in the same breath as Philadelphia native, and fellow Hammond B-3 master, Joey DeFrancesco. If Bianchi’s latest album, In the Moment, is any indication, this is something he’s leaning into, as opposed to shying away from.

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