The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI: Lisa Batiashvili Plays Tchaikovsky's Beloved Violin Concerto

Jul 21, 2019

One of the finest violinists of her generation, Lisa Batiashvili has teamed up with Yannick Nézet-Séguin for some memorable performances, and Sunday, August 4th at 1 PM, WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast presents another one: Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto.

Also on the program are two works from the Scandinavian region, beginning with a symphony by the Romantic Swedish composer, Franz Berwald.

Berwald, whose ancestry was German, was immensely prolific, composing operas, choral music, and chamber music, but was not very well known, even in Sweden. After all, Berwald spent half his time running a business! For years, he lived in Berlin, where he opened an orthopedic institute treating spinal deformities in children.

Twenty years later he would move his practice to Vienna, where he’d also give concerts of his own music! His Symphony No. 3, “Sinfonie Singuliére,” which we’ll hear Sunday, is full of innovation, using short, sharply-drawn motifs, and building them into a complete movement, the ideas growing in complexity and meaning. It’s quite a symphony for the mid-1840s! And this is a first Philadelphia Orchestra performance ever!

Then, Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No.7, his final symphony, unfolding in one extraordinary continuous movement, the climax of a lifetime's work for Sibelius. His ongoing search for new formal processes reached its height in this sweeping, thematically concentrated and highly integrated work.

But is it even a symphony? Many scholars have attempted to come up with different ways to classify this work, and perhaps “Symphonic Metamorphosis” would be more like it! Sibelius himself wasn't sure, first calling the work a Symphonic Fantasy.

Lots of exciting orchestral music in this concert, so get ready for color and power from the stage of Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center!

During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis speaks backstage with violinist Lisa Batiashvili.

Don’t miss it on Sunday, August 4th from 1 to 3 PM on WRTI 90.1, and streaming at Also on Monday, August 5th from 7 to 9 PM on the WRTI Classical Stream.


Berwald:  Symphony No. 3 in C major (“Sinfonie singulière”)

Sibelius: Symphony No. 7, Op. 105 (in one movement)


Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35

Lisa Batiashvili, violin

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 our mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2