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WRTI Spotlight

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: A New Season Begins with a New Host and a New Sound

The Philadelphia Orchestra, 2021
Jeff Fusco
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The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in October, 2021

WRTI announces a brand-new series of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, recorded live from the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall, with a refreshed format and some new people behind the scenes. Melinda Whiting is host, and Susan Lewis is producer and lead interviewer. The program can be heard every Sunday, 1 to 3 PM on WRTI 90.1 and every Monday, 7 to 9 PM on WRTI HD-2.

The new series presents concerts from The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2021/2022 season, along with chamber music performances and other works featuring Orchestra musicians.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the inaugural WRTI broadcast on January 9th and 10th, in a program with a unique format, featuring highlights of the Orchestra’s historic reunion with live audiences in the concert hall in Fall, 2021. The broadcast includes orchestral performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Ravel’s Boléro, new works by Valerie Coleman and Iman Habibi, and recordings of chamber music from pop-up concerts around Philadelphia performed by Orchestra musicians in 2021 as part of the “Our City, Your Orchestra” initiative.

Early in the shutdown, the Orchestra commissioned Valerie Coleman to write Seven O’Clock Shout, which evokes the spontaneous tributes offered to frontline personnel as COVID-19 took hold. The Orchestra performed the work multiple times, first on its Digital Stage, then before live audiences at the Mann Center and Verizon Hall, and at its concert in New York, which marked the season opening and long-awaited return of music at Carnegie Hall.

POIC2_220109_Habibi.mp3
Susan Lewis speaks with composer Iman Habibi.

We’ll also hear Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, as the Orchestra resumes a seasonal theme cut short by the pandemic shutdown in March, 2020. For its 2019/2020 season, the Orchestra had commissioned several young composers to create works responding to the symphonies of Beethoven. One of these was scheduled in the second week of March, 2020: Jeder Baum spricht, or Every Tree Speaks, by Iranian-born Canadian composer Iman Habibi. In October, 2021, the orchestra played the work to audiences in person for the first time, immediately before Beethoven’s FIfth Symphony.

This celebratory program concludes with Ravel’s Boléro, as exuberantly performed at the October Opening Night Gala.

POIC2_220100_Montone_Matsukawa.mp3
Susan Lewis speaks with Orchestra musicians Jennifer Montone and Daniel Matsukawa

Listen for interviews interspersed throughout the broadcast. Producer Susan Lewis speaks with Yannick, composer Iman Habibi, and orchestra musicians Daniel Matsukawa and Jennifer Montone about the enduring power of music, and the creative ways that musical performance remained vibrant during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Concert broadcasts from The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2021/2022 season begin on January 16th and 17th.

PROGRAM for broadcasts on January 9th and 10th:

Coleman: Seven O’Clock Shout

Mouret: Suite de Symphonies (arr. Matsukawa): I. Rondeau

Bizet (arr. Kelly and Matsukawa): Habanera from Carmen

Beethoven: Septet in E-flat major: I. Adagio-Allegro; IV. Tema con variazioni

Habibi: Jeder Baum spricht (“Every Tree Speaks”)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in c minor, Op. 67

Ravel: Boléro

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts every Sunday at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and streaming at WRTI.org, on the WRTI mobile app, and on your favorite smart speaker. Listen again on Mondays at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2. Listen for up to two weeks after broadcast on WRTI Replay.