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The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI: Lisa Batiashvili Plays Tchaikovsky's Beloved Violin Concerto

Sammy Hart/DG

One of the finest violinists of her generation, Lisa Batiashvili has teamed up with Yannick Nézet-Séguin for some memorable performances.  You can hear the rebroadcast of one of them on Thursday, May 28th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 and Friday, May 29th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, when she plays Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Also on the program are two works from the Scandinavian region, beginning with a symphony by the Romantic Swedish composer, Franz Berwald.

Berwald, whose ancestry was German, was immensely prolific, composing operas, choral music, and chamber music, but was not very well known, even in Sweden. After all, Berwald spent half his time running a business! For years, he lived in Berlin, where he opened an orthopedic institute treating spinal deformities in children.

Twenty years later he would move his practice to Vienna, where he’d also give concerts of his own music! His Symphony No. 3, “Sinfonie Singuliére,” which we’ll hear Sunday, is full of innovation, using short, sharply-drawn motifs, and building them into a complete movement, the ideas growing in complexity and meaning. It’s quite a symphony for the mid-1840s! And this is a first Philadelphia Orchestra performance ever!

Then, Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No.7, his final symphony, unfolding in one extraordinary continuous movement, the climax of a lifetime's work for Sibelius. His ongoing search for new formal processes reached its height in this sweeping, thematically concentrated and highly integrated work.

But is it even a symphony? Many scholars have attempted to come up with different ways to classify this work, and perhaps “Symphonic Metamorphosis” would be more like it! Sibelius himself wasn't sure, first calling the work a Symphonic Fantasy.

Lots of exciting orchestral music in this concert, so get ready for color and power from the stage of Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center!

During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis speaks backstage with violinist Lisa Batiashvili.


Berwald: Symphony No. 3 in C Major (“Sinfonie singulière”)

Sibelius: Symphony No. 7, Op. 105 (in one movement)


Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

Lisa Batiashvili, violin

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.