Richard Strauss

June 29, 2020. It’s impossible not to smile when you encounter the opera star, soprano Angel Blue, whether you’re caught up in the emotion or the humor of a song she’s singing, watching her breathe life into a character onstage, or chatting with her about finding joy everywhere she goes.

Chris Lee Photographer

Join us on Sunday, May 17th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, May 18th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2, when pianist Haochen Zhang, the 29-year-old recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and gold-medal winner at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, will be the soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.

We had a taste of Richard Strauss on our last Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, a program with another Strauss, Johann Jr., and Edward MacDowell. Today we’ll look just at Richard Strauss, and narrow our focus to his earliest years.

A few days after Independence Day, we continue looking at the American composer on Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, as we have for the past few months. But on today’s program we’ll view one of the greatest of them within an international context.

The legend of Don Juan, dating from the mid-17th century, has spawned plays, poetry, opera, and more.  Richard Strauss’s 1889 tone poem about the story launched his star in the European musical world.


On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, July 2nd, 5-6 pm.... Recently on Discoveries we’ve been looking at the beginning generations of American composers of orchestral music. In the last decades of the 19th century they began making their way to Europe—mostly to Germany—to study their craft, which they then brought back. MacDowell, Chadwick, Parker, Paine, and others are prime examples of this pilgrimage. Their legacy remains to this day, through their music and their students.

Guest Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, a familiar presence on the podium here in Philadelphia, returned for a visit to Verizon Hall in late October, 2014, for a concert we'll hear re-broadcast this Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI.  The concert continued three programming themes heard throughout this past season:

Music from a popular symphonic piece played a memorable role in the 1968 Hollywood film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, those famous opening bars are only the beginning of a work that continues to engage and intrigue audiences.

Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony is, on one level, a musical description of nature. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the accessible music belies a greater meaning.

Based on a boyhood experience getting caught in a storm hiking in the Alps, the idea for An Alpine Symphony germinated for years in Strauss’s mind.  It wasn’t until after Gustav Mahler died, that he determined to finish the work, which he regarded as a tribute to his fellow composer.

Pages