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WRTI Spotlight

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: American classics and world premieres with Yannick and Soprano Angel Blue

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Pete Checchia
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Soprano Angel Blue in performance with The Philadelphians led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Join us on Sunday, May 1 at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, May 2 at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 when The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series brings you a performance from the Orchestra’s 2021/2022 season, recorded live in February.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads music by American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Under Yannick, The Philadelphia Orchestra has become one of the foremost champions of the pioneering composer Florence Price. Her Symphony No. 1, featured on this week’s program, was the first symphony by an African American woman to be premiered by a major American orchestra when the Chicago Symphony programmed it in 1933.

In 2022, the Philadelphians’ recording of this symphony, along with Price’s Symphony No. 3, won the GRAMMY Award for Best Orchestral Recording.

Another 20th-century classic, Samuel Barber’s nostalgic Knoxville: Summer of 1915, is one of two works on this program that feature the international opera star, soprano Angel Blue. She also performs the world premiere of a new work commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra from Valerie Coleman, This Is Not a Small Voice, a setting of poetry by Sonia Sanchez.

Opening the program is another Philadelphia Orchestra commission, an orchestra suite from Matthew Aucoin’s 2017 opera Eurydice.

Composer Valerie Coleman talks with Susan Lewis about "This Is Not a Small Voice"

Listen during the broadcast for producer Susan Lewis’s interviews with Angel Blue and Valerie Coleman.

There’s also a brief chamber music break from The Philadelphia Orchestra’s “Our City, Your Orchestra” series of online music videos, as two orchestra members perform the Fantasie No. 1 by Florence Price at the Paul Robeson House in West Philadelphia.

Detailed program notes from the concert

PROGRAM:
Aucoin: Suite from Eurydice
Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Coleman: This Is Not a Small Voice
Price: Symphony No. 1 in e minor

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Angel Blue, soprano
Hirono Oka, violin
Davyd Booth, piano

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, 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.