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WRTI's Debra Lew Harder Is Departing To Become Radio Host For The Metropolitan Opera

Debra Lew Harder
Jessica Schultz
Debra Lew Harder in the WRTI Performance Studio in Philadelphia.

Today, we're sharing some bittersweet news. Debra Lew Harder, WRTI's Classical Midday and Saturday Classical Coffeehouse host, has been appointed the new radio host for the Metropolitan Opera! It also means her last day with WRTI is Tuesday, September 21st.

Debra has been such an amazing member of our team as a host, an artist, a colleague, and a friend to so many. Her lasting impact on WRTI and our entire music community is tremendous. It's hard to imagine WRTI without her, but it's comforting to know we'll continue to hear her voice during the Met Opera’s Saturday Matinee radio broadcast season. Debra will be the fifth host of the Met Opera, which has been broadcasting since 1931.

While teary-eyed, all of us at WRTI are so proud of Debra—and so happy for her. Please join us in sharing your well-wishes and thanks in the comments section below, and tune in between 10 AM and 2 PM on Tuesday, September 21st as Debra signs off.

Message from Debra:

Words can’t express how much I’m going to miss being at WRTI. I’ve loved my work, my colleagues, and, most of all, our incredible listeners.

Connecting with you—that’s been the highlight of my time here. I’ve loved creating, producing, and hosting Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse for you, and sharing your personal joys and sorrows during our Wednesday Classical Requests show.

Breathing together during Morning Meditation, introducing you to today’s performers, and listening to beautiful music with you every day —well, these times with you are irreplaceable.

It's been an honor to be part of this very special radio station, in this great music city. But since I hate saying goodbye, let’s not!

I’ll be back with you on WRTI, starting in early December, every Saturday afternoon at 1 PM for the Met’s International Radio Broadcast season. And the way things work, December will be here before we know it. Until then, stay well—and happy listening!

Debra Lew Harder
Mark Pinto
Debra Lew Harder in the WRTI broadcast studio.