© 2024 WRTI
Your Classical and Jazz Source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI in October: Concert Highlights from Saratoga Springs, NY

Chris Lee/Philadelphia Orchestra
Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY has been a summer home of the Philadelphians since 1966.

Join host Gregg Whiteside in October on Sundays at 1 pm, and Mondays at 7 pm on HD-2, as our Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, take you to Saratoga Springs to hear highlights of four concerts from August—recorded live at the town's outdoor amphitheater nestled into a hillside on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park.

October 7 at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1; October 8 at 7 pm on HD-2: Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra, Serhiy Salov, pianist; Mahler's Symphony No. 4, Janai Bruger, soprano

October 14 at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1; October 15 at 7 pm on HD-2: Leonard Bernstein's Scenes from West Side Story; Richard Strauss' Don Juan; Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra

October 21 at 1 pm on WRTI 901; October 22 at 7 pm on HD-2: Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront; Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium) for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp, and Percussion—Jennifer Koh, violin; Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

October 28 at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1; October 29 at 7 pm on HD-2: Antonin Dvorak's Othello, Concert Overture, op. 93; Max Bruch's Violin Concerto, op. 26, Joshua Bell, violin; Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, op. 74, "Pathetique"

WRTI's Susan Lewis fills you in on Saratoga Springs and the Orchestra's summertime residency there:

Pine trees stretch to the sky, sulfer springs bubble to the surface, and hiking trails meander over the more than 2,000 acres of land in Saratoga Springs—named a state park in 1962, a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

There's also a stately brick hotel, a museum of dance, an automobile museum and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center—popularly known as 'SPAC' (rhymes with "track," another popular activity in this region, but more on that later.)

SPAC is a large covered amphitheater with a gracious sloping lawn where the sounds of the nearby stream and an occasional motocyle roar mingle with the music of Mozart, Mahler, and more.

Opened in 1966, it today hosts pop and rock artists, as well as a jazz festival. It's also been summer home to the New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra for decades.

Aaron Copland and The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC circa 1976.

Every summer since that opening, The Philadelphia Orchestra has played an average of three weeks of concerts at SPAC. Musicians and staff rent houses in town or on one of the nearby lakes or stay at Skidmore College dorms.

Kids and grandkids come along—to watch rehearsals, to play with other "orchestra kids," or to discover the cute little town of Saratoga Springs, where there's a library, a duck pond, and a charming main street and surrounding blocks with shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

The renowned thoroughbred horse track is also a big draw.  Early morning, the track is open to the public for those who want to buy or bring in breakfast and watch the horses work out; a good solution for those with small kids or schedules that are busy during the official racetimes. 

But the big attraction for classical music fans is The Philadelphia Orchestra, playing great music in the increasingly cool nights of late summer.

If you didn't get up there in August to listen from the covered seats, or from your picnic on the lawn—or even if you did—now's a chance to hear music from those concerts, all conducted by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, every Sunday afternoon at 1 pm in October on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, andon the WRTI App. On Monday nights at 7 pm in October you can hear the same broadcasts streaming online and on WRTI HD-2.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.