The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI: Nico Muhly's New Organ Concerto In The Spotlight

Sep 6, 2019

Join us on Sunday, September 8th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 to hear The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert. This broadcast showcases the “King of Instruments” in all its glory, and where better to hear it than in Verizon Hall with the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ and the Philadelphians? Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.

This week we bring you the East Coast premiere of Nico Muhly’s new organ concerto, a co-commission from the Philadelphians, LA Philharmonic, and London's Southbank Center. Muhly dedicated the work, Register, Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, to his good friend James McVinnie, who will be the soloist in this performance.

The title refers to the many possibilities for the selection and combination of stops on an organ that produce the instrument’s marvelous kaleidoscopic palette of tone colors.

The organ also makes an appearance in Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, which falls between his 4th and 5th symphonies. Tchaikovsky was inspired by Lord Byron’s poem about a tormented antihero in the Swiss Alps looking back on his wayward life, and it’s a powerfully dramatic work, not often performed because of its length, complex structure, and need for the organ at the very end.

Organist James McVinnie
Credit Magnus Andersen

During intermission, WRTI’s Susan Lewis will have backstage conversations with James McVinnie, and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Be sure to listen this Sunday, September 8th, from 1 to 3 PM on WRTI 90.1, and streaming at! Listen again on Monday, September 9th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.


Muhly: Register, Concerto for Organ and Orchestra

James McVinnie, organ


Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, 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 the WRTI mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.