ZOOM

April 19, 2021. The Catalyst Quartet uncovers music and the stories of the people who wrote it in its new recording series UNCOVERED. The first volume focuses on music by late 19th-century English composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

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.

Courtesy of the artists

Oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz and bassoonist Monica Ellis have been making music together throughout the world as members of the woodwind quintet Imani Winds since its founding in 1997. In this TIME IN interview, Monica and Toyin talk about how they've navigated the pandemic with music and related online activities, gardening, family time, and planning for the future.

Courtesy of Jeff Curnow

Jeff Curnow does double duty with his "dream job" as principal associate trumpet in The Philadelphia Orchestra and as a popular cartoonist whose work has been appearing regularly on NPR Classical's Facebook and Twitter feeds since 2015.

Jacqueline Smith

Philadelphia composer Kile Smith's many works have been earning him increasing accolades, with recordings and performances around the country and in other parts of the world in the past few years. He's sharing a new virtual piece for choirs during these difficult times, has discovered a love for working outside, and has recently stepped up his game in another form of artistic expression: photography.  

Courtesy of Lisa Batiashvili

Georgian-born violinist Lisa Batiashvili is usually on the move, soloing with orchestras around the world. But since March she’s has been at home with her family in Germany and France. In this TIME IN interview, she talks about the pleasures of re-creating family recipes for her husband and children, playing chamber music with friends, and finding time for yoga and meditation amongst other things.

After two summers in residency at Temple University, the third season of Young Women Composers Camp (YWCC) was all virtual. The new format grew participation to 50 composers, ages 13 to 24, from as nearby as Philadelphia and as far away as Turkey and Australia. Each completed a short piece for solo performer. 

The great alto saxophonist and jazz icon Charlie "Yardbird" Parker was only 34 years old when he died in 1955. During his short life, he became one of the most influential improvising soloists in jazz. As we celebrate Bird's 100th birthday week on WRTI starting on August 24th, Jazz Host Bob Perkins talks with Susan Lewis about why he's always been in sync with the music of Charlie Parker.

What has been life been like for Philadelphia-based composer Jennifer Higdon since the start of the pandemic? In this late May, 2020 TIME IN interview with WRTI’s Susan Lewis, Jennifer shares how the COVID-19 shutdown has influenced her writing and teaching, and prompted her to explore new activities, including listening to a certain podcast and driving the first car she's owned in 22 years!