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The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI: Mahler's 1st and Higdon's On a Wire with Eighth Blackbird

Gustav Mahler composed his Symhony No. 1 in 1888.

This Sunday, July 11th at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, July 12th at 7 pm on WRTI's HD-2 channel,  Stéphane Denève conducts one of the most remarkable first symphonies in music history— Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1. This was a very difficult symphony to fully understand, much less appreciate, when it was first performed. Juxtapositions of the ironic and the sublime, of parody and exultation, a kind of merging of the genres of song and symphony.

Eighth Blackbird

Also on Sunday afternoon’s program, the first Philadelphia Orchestra performance of a work by Jennifer Higdon, that she herself refers to as a “high-wire act of a concerto,” On a Wire.

This is a concerto scored for not one soloist, but six—the members of the Grammy-winning Eighth Blackbird, making their Philadelphia Orchestra debut with this performance. Playing flutes, clarinets, violin, viola, cello and piano, the Eighth Blackbird members engage in a spirited and witty dialogue with the Orchestra in this appealing work.

Read detailed program notes from the concert.

In this concert from 2017, WRTI's Bliss Michelson talked backstage with Principal Guest Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Stéphane Denève.

During intermission of this 2017 concert, WRTI’s Susan Lewis spoke with Jennifer Higdon, and Yvonne Lam from Eighth Blackbird and Bliss Michelson talked with Maestro Denève.

This is a fun and exciting program you won’t want to miss! That’s Sunday, July 11th on WRTI 90.1 from 1 to 3  pm, and Monday July 12th at 7 pm on WRTI's HD-2 channel.


Higdon: On A Wire

     With Eighth Blackbird, ensemble


Mahler: Symphony No. 1

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.