Astral Artists

It’s a party, and you’re invited! The 3rd Annual WRTI & Astral Block Party has moved from Walnut Street,—where we’ve hosted hundreds of fans for the past two years—to WRTI 90.1 and streaming at wrti.org, where thousands can listen safely.

Listen to a live performance by Astral Artist Viktor Valkov, praised as “Lion of the keyboard, sensational” by Wiesbadener Kurier in Germany
. He previews his upcoming recital in Philadelphia and chats with host Kevin Gordon.

A winner of Astrals' 2013 National Auditions and the Sphinx Competition, Colombian-American cellist Christine Lamprea has earned acclaim for her "supreme panache and charmingly effortless phrasing" (Boston Musical Intelligencer.) Christine visited WRTI 90.1 with pianist Navah Perlman on Feb. 5. They performed music of Schumann and Debussy, and chatted with host Kevin Gordon.

Skillful young athletes might get their career bearings on a pro team, but what’s the equivalent for promising artists in the classical music world? One organization has mentored some of the best in the field, including guitarist Jason Vieaux, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, flutist Mimi Stillman, soprano Angela Meade, and the string trio Time For Three.

Amanda Westcott

Listen to this sneak preview of the WRTI 90.1/Astral Artists block party with dynamic young musicians Christine Lamprea, cello, and Xavier Foley, double-bass playing live in the WRTI Performance Studio hosted by Debra Lew Harder.

Kaupo Kikkas

Listen to a live performance, recorded on Friday, March 9, featuring the young American pianist Henry Kramer performing works by Robert Schumann and Maurice Ravel. A Maine native, Henry’s playing has been lauded as “triumphant” and “thrilling” by The New York Times. 

Join us on Friday at 12:10 pm to hear mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams, winner of Astral’s 2014 National Auditions, singing LIVE from WRTI’s Performance Studio.

Vanessa Briceno Photography

If you haven’t yet heard the resonant, rich sound of the solo double bass in concert, now’s your chance. On Friday, January 26th at noon, the superb, young double bass soloist and composer Xavier Foley will play LIVE from WRTI 90.1’s performance studio. 

Ryan Brandenberg

Listen to Project Fusion, a dynamic young saxophone quartet, when they chatted with Classical Coffeehouse Host Debra Lew Harder and performed LIVE on WRTI. A winner of Astral's 2015 National Auditions, Project Fusion has captured top prizes in prestigious chamber music competitions; the ensemble's concerts have been described as “joyful celebrations.”

When Samuel Barber’s violin concerto was rejected by the man for whom it was commissioned in 1939, he turned to his alma mater — The Curtis Institute of Music — where the concerto was performed to acclaim, leading to its official premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked to a panel of artists about Barber’s legacy, and the pleasures and perils of creating and performing new work in Philadelphia.


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