The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI 90.1: Wynton Marsalis' Blues Symphony In The Spotlight

Jun 30, 2020

Join us on Sunday, July 5th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, July 6th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 to hear Wynton Marsalis’s 2009 composition Blues Symphony performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The work is conducted by Christian Măcelaru—for whom the symphony holds special importance.

A marriage of jazz with symphonic traditions, the symphony explores the vast canvas of American musical styles—from the blues to gospel, from ragtime to the shuffle—to create a meditation on what Marsalis calls our “enduring American rhythm.”

Read the detailed program notes from the concert here.

Before intermission, multi award-winning violinist Leonidas Kavakos joins the Orchestra for a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s riveting Violin Concerto No. 1. Composed during the post-war years in Soviet Russia, a time of rigid censorship, Shostakovich kept the concerto unpublished until Stalin's death in March, 1953.

During intermission, Susan Lewis meets backstage at Verizon Hall with Mr. Kavakos, and Debra Lew Harder speaks with Maestro Măcelaru in his dressing room.


SHOSTAKOVICH: Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, op. 77
Leonidas Kavakos, violin


MARSALIS: Blues Symphony

  • I: Born in Hope
  • II: Swimming in Sorrow
  • III: Reconstruction Rag
  • IV: Southwestern Showdown
  • V: Big City Breaks
  • VI: Danzon y Mambo, Choro y Samba
  • VII: Dialog in Democracy

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Christian Măcelaru, conductor

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM, online at, and on the WRTI mobile app! Listen again on Monday at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.