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Sep 22, 2018

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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. 

Despite being one of the first and oldest forms of popular music, opera sometimes struggles to connect with 21st century audiences. However, Anthony Roth Costanzo is breaking down the genre's stodgy stereotype and making opera more accessible — taking his distinctive sound to the masses, from a sixth-grade classroom in the Bronx to NPR's own Tiny Desk.

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.


Tyler McClure

Jazz singer Laura Lizcano moved to Lykens, PA from her native Columbia when she was ten years old. She felt like a bit of an outsider at school because everything was different in America (even the pronunciation of her own name). When she realized that people really wanted to hear Latin-American music, her life took a positive turn. 

Jack Moore, one of WRTI's most well-known classical hosts, is signing off from the WRTI airwaves on September 21st after over 21 years on the air. He's leaving the station to pursue other opportunities and continue his active musical life outside of WRTI—as a conductor of three local orchestras, a performer, and educator.

Concord Jazz

September 17, 2018. Despite the passing of Count Basie in 1984, the Count Basie Orchestra has remained one of the elite performing organizations in jazz. Now under the direction of Scotty Barnhart, the orchestra, partly comprised of musicians hired by Basie himself, has released All About That Basie to celebrate 80 years of swinging.

The New York Philharmonic announced Sunday that it has taken action against two prominent musicians over unspecified "misconduct": the orchestra's principal oboist, Liang Wang, and its associate principal trumpeter, Matthew Muckey.

The orchestra said the decision came after a five-month internal investigation, led by a former federal judge. Both musicians dispute the Philharmonic's findings, and while the musicians' union reviews the orchestra's decision, the two have been placed on unpaid leave.

September 17, 2018. Newly released by Deutsche Grammophon, Daniel Barenboim’s interpretation of Johannes Brahms’ four symphonies with the Staatskapelle Berlin is our Album of the Week.

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.

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Wikipedia Commons

In the early 20th century, Leopold Stokowski was transforming The Philadelphia Orchestra into a major force in classical music, while roughly 6 ½ miles away in the nearby suburbs, Albert Barnes was amassing his now world-famous art collection.

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.

It’s rare that avant-garde music gets time in the spotlight these days. WRTI’s Maureen Malloy gives you some history on the free jazz movement, and a glimpse into its future. Check out the October Revolution of Jazz and Contemporary Music organized by Ars Nova Workshop and Fringe Arts, from October 4th to 7th.

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.

Skillful young athletes might get their career bearings on a pro team, but what’s the equivalent for promising artists in the classical music world? One organization has mentored some of the best in the field, including guitarist Jason Vieaux, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, flutist Mimi Stillman, soprano Angela Meade, and the string trio Time For Three.

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