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The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia on WRTI: Pianist Ching-Yun Hu Plays Mozart, Oct. 16, 5 PM

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Courtesy of the artist
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Pianist Ching-Yun Hu performs Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia on WRTI, October 16 at 5 pm.

This Sunday’s broadcast concert by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia contains two works from this past Monday’s season opener: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 and Haydn’s Symphony No. 99. The soloist in the Mozart is the Taiwanese-American pianist Ching-Yun Hu.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 was one of three he composed in early 1786 for a series of pre-Lenten concerts he was to present. Even by his own standards, this was an extraordinarily busy period. In the six months from the fall of 1785 to the spring of 1786, he wrote not only the three concertos but also the orchestral Masonic Funeral Music, a violin sonata, two Masonic songs for chorus and organ, some ensemble numbers to be inserted into opera performances, a rondo for piano and orchestra, the comic singspiel Die Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario), and his operatic masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro.

All this he composed while keeping up with a busy concert schedule that included a private performance of his opera Idomeneo, at least four public concerts, numerous salon performances, and attendance at a masked ball where he also distributed printed riddles he had devised!

Pianist Ching-Yun Hu is recognized and acclaimed worldwide for her dazzling technique, deeply probing musicality, and directly communicative performance style. Declared a “first-class talent” and praised for her “poetic use of color and confidently expressive phrasing” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), Ching-Yun Hu made her debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999.

Joseph Haydn’s two extended visits to London were an unqualified success. Already popular in England, he saw his concerts filled and his music effusively praised. He was feted by the cream of London society. He earned more money than he thought possible.

But most important, Haydn was musically reinvigorated. He wrote some of the best music of his long and distinguished career after 1791, including his last twelve symphonies, his last six concert masses, and the stunningly original oratorio The Creation.

Symphony No. 99 was composed in 1793 for Haydn’s second visit to London. It is his first symphony to use clarinets, something he learned from Mozart. They give the wind choir a richness that Haydn was quick to exploit.

For classical grace and power, tune in to the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Sunday at 5 pm on WRTI.