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The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI: A Dazzling Performance by Cellist Hai-Ye Ni, Sept. 21, 1 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Tchaikovsky celebration from last January continues on WRTI this Sunday at 1 pm with Associate Conductor CristianMacelarujoined by Principal Cellist Hai-YeNi in the elegant and challenging Rococo Variations of Tchaikovsky. 
Ms. Ni, the youngest winner ever of the prestigious Naumberg International Cello Competition in 1990, has been praised for the lyrical beauty of her tone. Her memorable performance is not to be missed!
Works by Alexander Borodin and Mily Balakirev, members of the so-called "Mighty Five," frame our Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast. This group of nationalist composers, with Balakirev as their charismatic leader, took a progressive approach to music and sought inspiration in Russian folk materials. They were also drawn to exotic themes of an imagined East, as we hear in the pieces that open and close this Sunday's concert: The Polovtsian Dances - ranging from the sensuous to the exotic - from Borodin’s unfinished opera Prince Igor, and Mily Balakirev's Islamey, originally a dazzlingly difficult piano work in the virtuoso style of Franz Liszt, using folk materials from the Caucasus Mountains. We hear the piece on Sunday in a brilliant orchestration by one of the composer’s students, Sergei Lyapunov.

While Tchaikovsky rarely felt a comparable attraction to Orientalist subjects, he was deeply drawn to 18th-century Classicism. Mozart was his favorite composer. Refinement mixed with passion are evident in both his works on the program. Tchaikovsky based the Rococo Variations on a theme of his own devising, initially stated by the cello soloist at the beginning and then transformed through seven variations. His Serenade for Strings, however, calls upon the tradition of the Classical serenade. The Orchestra continues its exploration of the serenade this season with one that proves the perfect vehicle for the legendary Philadelphia strings.

Join us  for this re-broadcast - this Sunday, September 21st from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM. Gregg Whiteside is producer and host.

Detailed program notes and videos here.

Borodin - Polovtsian Dances, from Prince Igor
Tchaikovsky - Rococo Variations, for cello and orchestra
Tchaikovsky - Serenade for Strings
Balakirev - Islamey

Hai-Ye Ni - Cello
Cristian Macelaru - Conductor

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI are underwritten by Bryn Mawr Trust Wealth Management.


Gregg was the host of WRTI's morning drive show from 2012 until his retirement from WRTI in January, 2021. He began producing and hosting The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcasts in 2013, joining the Orchestra in Hong Kong for the first-ever live international radio broadcasts from that island in 2016, and in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for two historic broadcasts in 2018. You can still hear Gregg as host of the Orchestra broadcasts every Sunday and Monday on WRTI.