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The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI 90.1: Wizards, Sorcerers, and Magic!

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Fantasia, lobby card, Mickey Mouse in segment "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," 1940

It's enchanted and enchanting music played by The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI, Sunday, October 25th at 1 PM on 90.1 and Monday, October 26th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2. Works by four composers—conducted by Stéphane Denève—ranging from Mozart’s The Magic Flute to John Williams’ scores for Harry Potter are on this program from a concert this past February. They all work perfectly as Halloween pieces that look ahead to The Philadelphia Orchestra's Digital Stage Halloween Celebration Family Concert starting on Friday, October 30th.

Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture sets the stage on WRTI's re- broadcast for the bewitching music that follows: Paul Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, immortalized in Walt Disney’s film Fantasia; John Williams’s endlessly creative and evocative scores for the first two Harry Potter films; and, following intermission, more magic: Maurice Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells), a one-act fairy tale opera filled with the profound psychological insights of the librettist Collete.

Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Boys Choir Jeffrey Smith backstage in conversation with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

Joining The Philadelphia Orchestra for L’Enfant et les Sortileges are eight stellar soloists, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, and the Philadelphia Boys Choir.

The major role of The Child is sung by the American mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard—a multiple Grammy winner, with a repertoire that spans from Vivaldi to Mozart to Muhly; soprano Anna Christy is The Fire, and Nightingale, and The PrincessSzechuanese soprano Meigui Zhang sings the roles of The Bergère, The Bat, The Screech-Owl, and A Country Lass); The Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Valentina Pluzhnikova sings the roles of The White Cat, The Squirrel, and a Herdsman; contralto is Sara Couden, is Mama, the Chinese Cup, and the Dragonfly; Tenor Mathias Vidal sings the role of The Teapot, The Little Old Man, and The Tree Frog; Baritone John Moore is The Comtoise Clock, and The Black Cat; and Chinese baritone Yunpeng Wang is The Armchair, and A Tree.

During intermission, WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks backstage with Stéphane Denève and the Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Boys Choir, Jeffrey Smith.

Now more than ever, we need great music. Enjoy recently recorded concerts of The Philadelphia Orchestra every week on WRTI 90.1, and streaming worldwide at WRTI.org.


Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute, K. 620

Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Williams: Selections from Harry Potter:

“Hedwig’s Theme” and “Nimbus 2000,” (from Suite from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

“Fawkes the Phoenix,” (from Suite from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) 

“Harry’s Wondrous World,” (from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)


Ravel: L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (text by Colette)

  • Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano (The Child)
  • Anna Christy, soprano (The Fire, The Nightingale, The Princess)
  • Meigui Zhang, soprano (The Bergère, The Bat, The Screech-Owl, A Country Lass)
  • Valentina Pluzhnikova, mezzo-soprano (The White Cat, The Squirrel, A Herdsman)
  • Sara Couden, contralto (Mama, The Chinese Cup, The Dragonfly)
  • Mathias Vidal, tenor (The Teapot, The Little Old Man, The Tree Frog)
  • John Moore, baritone (The Comtoise Clock, The Black Cat)
  • Yunpeng Wang, baritone (The Armchair, A Tree)

Westminster Symphonic Choir (The Shepherds, The Herdsmen, The Tree Frogs, The Animals, The Trees)

Philadelphia Boys Choir (The Bench, The Sofa, The Stool, The Wicker Chair, The Numbers)

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stéphane Denève, 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.