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The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI 90.1: Violinist Joshua Bell In The Spotlight

Bill Phelps
Violinist Joshua Bell

On Sunday, July 14th at 1 PM on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI 90.1, it's one for the ages—from the lush romanticism of Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2, to the lyricism and power of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium, and Joshua Bell is the violinist in a performance of Wieniawski’s second concerto, composed as a continuous gesture, full of romantic melodies, with only slight pauses between the three movements.

Wieniawski himself was one of the 19th century’s great masters of the violin, and—though Polish—was one of the founders of the Russian school of violin playing. In fact, his successor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory was Leopold Auer, whose pupils, most notably Mischa Elman, Efrem Zimbalist, and Jascha Heifetz, would pretty much determine the way the 20th century would think about violin playing.

Listen to WRTI's Bliss Michelson in conversation with Philadelphia Orcehstra Principal Percussionist, Chris Deviney.

Following intermission, we’ll hear one of the truly great wartime works: the Symphony No 7, the “Leningrad,” by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Beginning peacefully, then with the ominous force of war governing much of the work, this symphony was composed while Shostakovich and the residents of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, were under constant bombardment. It remains an enduring monument to the suffering that city endured during the Second World War. The finale, scored for an enormous orchestra that includes twenty-one brass instruments, is one of the most triumphant in all of music.

During intermission, WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks with violinist Joshua Bell, and Bliss Michelson has a conversation with Philadelphia Orchestra principal percussionist Christopher Deviney, who plays the challenging snare drum part in the Shostakovich.

Don’t miss this one! That’s Sunday, July 14th from 1 to 3 PM on WRTI 90.1, the WRTI mobile app, and streaming worldwide at wrti.org!


Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2

     Joshua Bell, violin


Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”)

The Philadelphia Orchestra

     Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on our mobile app!Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.

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.