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LIVE on WRTI: The Philadelphians, Yannick, & Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand! March 13th, 2 PM

Credit Chris Lee
Yannick Nezet-Seguin is music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

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.”

To mark the centenary of that 1916 premiere, more than 400 singers and Philadelphia Orchestra musicians will fill the stage and the Conductor’s Circle on Sunday, March 13 at 2 pm as Yannick Nezet-Seguin marshals these tremendous forces in a performance of this soul-stirring work. Listen to the concert LIVE from Verizon Hall on WRTI! We'll be broadcasting the sold-out performance on 90.1 FM in Philadelphia and streaming LIVE on WRTI.org. **This LIVE broadcast begins at 2 pm - one hour later than usual.

"Great as many of his other works are, it seems to me that all his life he had sought, but not found, complete expression of what was in his heart and soul, but at last, at the end of his all too short and stormy life, he found complete utterance in this noble and unique work." -Leopold Stokowski, on Mahler's Eighth Symphony

Joining the orchestra will be a roster of celebrated international soloists: sopranos Angela Meade, Erin Wall, and LisetteOropesa; mezzo-sopranos Stephanie Blythe and MihokoFujimura; tenor Anthony Dean Griffey; baritone Markus Werba; and bass John Relyea.

The mixed chorus of The Westminster Symphonic Choir, The Choral Arts Society of Washington, and the The American Boychoir will also be onstage for this special matinee performance marking the 100th anniversary - almost to the day - of the symphony's U.S. premiere by The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski.

The work will be performed without intermission.

Read detailed program notes from The Philadelphia Orchestra

Be sure to join us for this eagerly anticipated, sold-out event, live from Verizon Hall, this Sunday, March 13th, from 2 to 4 pm, broadcast only on WRTI.


Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Conductor
Angela Meade - Soprano
Erin Wall - Soprano
Lisette Oropesa - Soprano
Stephanie Blythe - Mezzo-soprano
Mihoko Fujimura - Mezzo-soprano
Anthony Dean Griffey - Tenor
Markus Werba - Baritone
John Relyea - Bass
The Westminster Symphonic Choir - Mixed chorus
The Choral Arts Society of Washington - Mixed chorus
The American Boychoir - Boys choir

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand")

Maestro Leopold Stokowski on the podium in rehearsal at the Academy of Music with over 1,000 instrumentalists and vocalists for the premiere of Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.”

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI 90.1 FM in Philadelphia and streaming online at WRTI.org, every Sunday from 1 to 3 pm. **This week's live broadcast is from 2 to 4 pm.

Gregg was the host of WRTI's morning drive show from 2012 until his retirement from WRTI in January, 2021. He began producing and hosting The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcasts in 2013, joining the Orchestra in Hong Kong for the first-ever live international radio broadcasts from that island in 2016, and in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for two historic broadcasts in 2018. You can still hear Gregg as host of the Orchestra broadcasts every Sunday and Monday on WRTI.