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LIVE from the Kimmel Center on WRTI 90.1: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Annual MLK, Jr. Tribute Concert, Jan. 17th at 1 PM

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech.
Agence France Presse/Getty Images
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech.

Join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as we bring you The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 32nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert, led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, on Monday, January 17, 2022 at 1 PM—LIVE on WRTI from the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. WRTI’s Melinda Whiting is host.

Listen on the radio at 90.1 FM, and streaming on the WRTI mobile app, at WRTI.org, and on your favorite smart speaker.

"Every year, The Philadelphia Orchestra's Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert—through the tremendous power of music—inspires us to connect more deeply with Dr. King's message of a more equitable society and justice for all," says WRTI General Manager Bill Johnson. "WRTI is honored to play a part in bringing this performance and that message to our entire region through the power of public radio."

The 90-minute concert broadcast showcases works by Black composers, including James Weldon Johnson’s powerful anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing, sung by vocalist Laurin Talese; Valerie Coleman’s Seven O’Clock Shout; Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers; and Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1 and Adoration, featuring 12-year-old violinist Amaryn Olmeda, winner of the 24th Annual Sphinx Competition, Juniors Division, which recognizes and develops classical music talent in the Black and Latinx communities.

A stirring recitation of excerpts from Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech by Philadelphia Orchestra Storyteller, Narrator, and Host Charlotte Blake Alston will accompany Barber’s Adagio for Strings, an event tradition.

"We are delighted to reunite with audiences, live and in person, for this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr.Tribute Concert, one of our most important and cherished traditions,” says Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. "We look forward to honoring Dr. King’s legacy through music, which has the unique ability to unite us and create positive change.”


Johnson: “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Coleman: Seven O'Clock Shout
Simon: Fate Now Conquers
Beethoven: Fourth movement from Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92:
Price: Adoration, for solo violin and string orchestra
Barber: Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 (with narration based on the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Price: Third and fourth movements from Symphony No. 1 in E minor

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Laurin Talese, vocalist
Amaryn Olmeda, violin
Charlotte Blake Alston, speaker

Tickets for the in-person concert are free and are available here.