The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI 90.1: The Barnes-Stokowski Festival, Part I

Jan 13, 2020

Join us on Sunday, January 19th from 1 to 3 PM as WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast explores the interactions between two bold visionaries who made incalculable contributions to the cultural life of Philadelphia between the two world wars: Leopold Stokowski and Dr. Albert C. Barnes.

The re-broadcast of this 2018 concert incorporates brief theatrical scenes by the playwright, lyricist, and director Didi Balle, who has received 12 commissions from American orchestras to create, write, and direct new symphonic plays.

David Bardeen as Albert C. Barnes, Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève, and Nicholas Carriere as Leopold Stokowski during The Philadelphia Orchestra Barnes/Stokowski Festival in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, October 11, 2018.
Credit Jeff Fusco/Philadelphia Orchestra

This week's broadcast features Part I of Balle's symphonic play about Barnes and Stokowski, with actors David Bardeen, playing the role of Albert Barnes, and Nicholas Carriere as Leopold Stokowski.  They  dramatize the  interactions of Barnes and Stokowski, with a script written by Ms. Balle, based in part on candid letters between the two cultural titans.

(Part 2 is next week.)

Both Barnes and Stokowski were deeply attracted to the transformative vocal music of the great Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Palestrina, and his sacred choral work Adoramus te will be featured in the Stokowski transcription for orchestra in this first week.

Also on the program are Stokowski’s orchestration of Claude Debussy's piano prelude, "The Sunken Cathedral," Ernest Chausson’s elegant Poème, with soloist David Kim, and La Mer, one of Claude Debussy’s musical innovations that became closely associated with the Impressionist movement.

Certainly, along the way, we can expect some surprises!

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, Stéphane Denève is on the podium.

During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis and Debra Lew Harder are backstage for conversation with David Kim, Maestro Denève, and playwright Didi Balle.

Join us for an engaging two hours of music and theater, as we begin the story, Sunday, January 19th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and streaming at Listen again on WRTI HD-2 on Monday, January 20th at 7 PM.


Palestrina: Stokowski orchestration – Adoramus Te

Chausson: Poeme, Op.25: David Kim, violin


Debussy: Stokowski orchestration – The Sunken Cathedral

Debussy: La Mer

The Philadelphia Orchestra

     Stéphane Denève, conductor

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at, and on our mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2