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The Philadelphians on WRTI: Gil Shaham Plays Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Susanna Malkki Conducts

Luke Ratray
Violinist Gil Shaham

Join us on Sunday, November 15th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, November 16th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2, for one of the highlights of the 2019-2020 season, as we revisit Gil Shaham’s performance with the Philadelphians at Verizon Hall a year ago – on November 30th, 2019 – of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto!

Guest conductor Susanna Mälkki returned to The Philadelphia Orchestra podium for this performance.

(Mr. Shaham will perform Vivaldi's The Four Seasons on The Philadelphia Orchestra’s digital stage on Thursday, November 19th. Check out the details here!)

Also on the broadcast program, Prokofiev’s Symphony Number 5, and a first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance by the contemporary French composer Betsy Jolas: A Little Summer Suite.

Credit Stefan Bremer
Guest conductor Susanna Malkki

This concert was part of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s WomenNOW and BeethovenNOW celebrations.

Jolascomposed her Little Summer Suite in 2015, for Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, and it’s an adventurous sonic sequence of perambulatory scenes, for very large orchestra, by a composer, now in her 90s, who is one of our rare living witnesses to the heyday of Modernism.

Then, a special treat: Beethoven’s only Violin Concerto, played by one of the foremost artists of our time, Gil Shaham. Beethoven didn’t write any cadenzas for the Violin Concerto, and Joseph Joachim’s were widely played for many years, until Fritz Kreisler’s cadenzas displaced them. Mr. Shaham plays all of Kreisler’s challenging cadenzas in this performance.

Following intermission, one of the masterpieces of the 20th century, Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, first performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra in January of 1947, with George Szell on the podium. The Philadelphians have performed the work many times, even taking it on European and American tours.

Violinist Gil Shaham chats backstage with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

During the intermission of this concert, WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks backstage with both Gil Shaham and Susanna Mälkki.


Jolas – A Little Summer Suite (first Philadelphia Orchestra performance)

Beethoven – Violin Concerto in D

Gil Shaham, violin


Prokofiev – Symphony No. 5 in B-flat, Op. 100

The Philadelphia Orchestra 

Susanna Mälkki, 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.