Beethoven

Courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association Archives

During the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976 in the People's Republic of China, Western classical music all but disappeared from Chinese cultural life. The Philadelphia Orchestra's trailblazing 1973 trip to China helped turn that around. Led by Music Director Eugene Ormandy, and part of a larger plan of cross-cultural exchange, the tour planted the seeds for a relationship between China and the Orchestra that has grown and blossomed in the last three decades.

Dario Acosta

The 2019-2020 Philadelphia Orchestra season was built around two themes – BeethovenNow (in the 250th anniversary year of his birth), and WomenNOW. And our Sunday, April 18th re-broadcast at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and repeated on Monday, April 19th at 7 PM on HD-2 begins and ends with compositions by French women of the 19th and early-20th centuries, with Beethoven right in the middle.

Patrick Allen - Opera Omnia

The British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and the French-born conductor Nathalie Stutzmann are in the spotlight for this 2019 Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast on March 28th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and March 29th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.

Simon Fowler

Beethoven had a funny side, and conductor Nathalie Stutzmann says you can hear it in his Symphony No.4, a work that's often been overshadowed by his grander symphonic compositions. WRTI's Susan Lewis has the story.

Deborah Grimmett

Iman Habibi was one of several composers commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra as part of its 2020 celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday. The young Iranian-Canadian composer wrote Jeder Baum spricht (Every Tree Speaks), which explores climate change, a subject about which Habibi believes Beethoven—as a lover of nature—would have had a lot to say.  The piece was premiered by The Philadelphians last March, in an empty hall, in their last performance by the full orchestra as the pandemic was taking off.

Getty Images/Andreas Rentz

Join us as we mark the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven with some of his most treasured works, as well as much that he inspired in the generations that followed.

Ludwig van Beethoven, who lived from 1770 to 1827, is one of the most popular composers of all time.  Although he began to lose his hearing in his late 20s, and went completely deaf by his mid 40s, his deafness did nothing to defeat his ability to compose. Beethoven’s influence around the globe has not been hampered by geography, wars. or even pandemics. Let’s examine the pervasive appeal of Beethoven, which has transformed him from musical genius to Promethean hero to demigod.

Jeff Fusco/The Philadelphia Orchestra

It was only this past January (which seems so long ago) that the Philadelphians performed Vivian Fung’s Dust Devils for the first time, coinciding with the Orchestra’s return to the Academy of Music for its first subscription concert there in nearly 20 years. We're re-broadcasting that concert, conducted by Yannick Nézét-Séguin, on Sunday, October 18th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, October 19th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.

Mathias Bothor

On Sunday, October 11th at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, October 12th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2, one of the most beloved musicians of our time, pianist Emanuel Ax—who made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 1975—performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a broadcast from a February 2020 concert at Verizon Hall.

August 3, 2020. This is is Beethoven’s 250th anniversary birth year. It’s also the year the coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of countless live concert tributes to Beethoven across the globe. This calamitous turn of events makes the release of important Beethoven recordings especially welcome.

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