The Philadelphians on WRTI: Gil Shaham Plays Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Susanna Malkki Conducts

Jun 16, 2020

Join us on Sunday, June 21st at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, June 22nd at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 as guest conductor Susanna Mälkki returns to The Philadelphia Orchestra podium for a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D with soloist Gil Shaham.

Also on the program, Prokofiev’s Symphony Number 5, and a first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance by the contemporary French composer Betsy Jolas: A Little Summer Suite.

Guest conductor Susanna Malkki
Credit Stefan Bremer

This concert was part of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s WomenNOW and BeethovenNOW celebrations.

Jolas composed her Little Summer Suite in 2015, for Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, and it’s an adventurous sonic sequence of perambulatory scenes, for very large orchestra, by a composer, now in her 90s, who is one of our rare living witnesses to the heyday of Modernism.

Then, a special treat: Beethoven’s only Violin Concerto, played by one of the foremost artists of our time, Gil Shaham. Beethoven didn’t write any cadenzas for the Violin Concerto, and Joseph Joachim’s were widely played for many years, until Fritz Kreisler’s cadenzas displaced them. Mr. Shaham plays all of Kreisler’s challenging cadenzas in this performance.

Following intermission, one of the masterpieces of the 20th century, Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, first performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra in January of 1947, with George Szell on the podium. The Philadelphians have performed the work many times, even taking it on European and American tours.

During the intermission of this concert, WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks backstage with both Gil Shaham and Susanna Mälkki.


Jolas – A Little Summer Suite (first Philadelphia Orchestra performance)

Beethoven – Violin Concerto in D

Gil Shaham, violin


Prokofiev – Symphony No. 5 in B-flat, Op. 100

The Philadelphia Orchestra 

Susanna Mälkki, 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