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The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI 90.1: Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Fung at the Academy

Jeff Fusco/The Philadelphia Orchestra
This past January, 2020 performance marked the first time in almost 20 years that the Philadelphians performed at the Academy of Music for a subscription concert.

It was only this past January (which seems so long ago) that the Philadelphians performed Vivian Fung’s Dust Devils for the first time, coinciding with the Orchestra’s return to the Academy of Music for its first subscription concert there in nearly 20 years. We're re-broadcasting that concert, conducted by Yannick Nézét-Séguin, on Sunday, October 18th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, October 19th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2. Allso on the program is a powerful performance by the legendary pianist Yefim Bronfman of Beethoven’s Pano Concerto No. 4. After intermission, you’ll hear a work that was first performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy 85 years ago, the Symphony No. 3 by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

On Thursday, October 22nd, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s next virtual stage event will present the first Philadelphia Orchestra performance of the Canadian composer Vivian Fung’s Prayer, a work completed while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Composer Vivian Fung chats with WRTI's Susan Lewis in the Ormandy Room of the Academy of Music back in January, 2020.

Canadian-born Vivian Fung describes her vibrant orchestral composition Dust Devils as “the journey of emotional swirls, full of raw and intense energy.” It’s an imaginative and colorful work, full of rhythmic energy.

Pianist Yefim Bronfman talks backstage with WRTI's Debra Lew Harder.

Grammy-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman brings his exceptional lyrical gifts to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, its magical opening foreshadowing his "Pastoral" 6th Symphony.

The concert concludes with Rachmaninoff’s final symphony, which had its world premiere at the Academy of Music in 1936, with Leopold Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. Three years later, the Philadelphians would record the work, with Rachmaninoff himself conducting.

During intermission, Debra Lew Harder chats backstage with Yefim Bronfman, and Susan Lewis interviews Vivian Fung and Yannick Nézét-Séguin.


Vivian Fung – Dust Devils (First Philadelphia Orchestra performance)

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Op. 58

Yefim Bronfman, piano


Rachmaninoff – Symphony No. 3 in a-minor, Op. 44

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézét-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.