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WRTI is proud to partner with Astral to present members of its outstanding roster of rising classical talent in this new video series. Hosted by WRTI producer Susan Lewis and recorded live in WRTI's performance studio, these programs are "performance portraits" that capture the range and ingenuity of these exceptional artists.

WRTI Presents ASTRAL: Pianist Ronaldo Rolim

Ronaldo Rolim
ASTRAL Artist Ronaldo Rolim in the WRTI Performance Studio

Astral Artist Ronaldo Rolim can’t remember a time when the piano wasn’t part of his existence. His mother, Miriam, is an accomplished pianist and was his first piano teacher.

He made his first public performance as a precocious four-year-old in his hometown of Votorantim, Brazil. By the age of 18, he’d won two of Brazil’s most prestigious piano competitions and was off to the U.S., studying at the Peabody Conservatory and the Yale School of Music, where he obtained a Doctorate in Piano Performance.

This fall, Ronaldo’s career will enter a new chapter when he begins as a Professor of Piano at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA.

Recently, we were fortunate to be joined by Ronaldo in WRTI’s Performance Studio for a fascinating program that shows off his virtuosity and sensitivity in equal measure.

He begins with Claude Debussy’s Ballade, an early (and strangely little-known) work that he describes as “a healthy dose of morning sunshine.” Things take a technical turn with the Menuetto Capriccioso from Carl Maria von Weber’s Second Piano Sonata, a dazzling showpiece that depicts a raucous ballroom scene. He concludes with the graceful, yet complex rhythms of Camargo Guarnieri’s Danza Negra. Guarnieri, a 20th century Brazilian composer, was inspired by the elegant dynamism of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that mixes dance, music, and acrobatics.

Learn more about Ronaldo Rolim.

Astralis a Philadelphia-based, nonprofit intensive mentoring program that specializes in developing the early careers of extraordinary classical musicians.

Zev is thrilled to be WRTI’s classical program director, where he hopes to steward and grow the station’s tremendous legacy on the airwaves of Greater Philadelphia.