Classical 91.5

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra

Sundays, 3 to 5 pm on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY 90.3, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1, and online at
  • Hosted by Alec Baldwin

Founded in 1842 by a group of local musicians led by American-born Ureli Corelli Hill, the New York Philharmonic is by far the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. The New York Philharmonic, a longtime media pioneer, began radio broadcasts in 1922, and is currently represented by The New York Philharmonic This Week — syndicated nationally 52 weeks per year.


** Last minute program changes from the NYPO.


5/6          Music Director Profiles #2: Zubin Mehta  Performances include archival and CD recordings of music by Schoenberg, Bruckner, Joan Tower, Mozart, Beethoven, Bartok, Mahler, Furtwangler, Webern, Steve Reich, Ravi Shankar, Crumb and Schoenberg.

5/13        A Sibelius Sojourn  Sibelius: Finlandia, Pohjola’s Daughter, Violin Concerto, Pelléas et Mélisande, Symphony No. 2 (Zino Francescatti, v; Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Thomas Beecham and Lorin Maazel, cond)

The New York Philharmonic delves into the archives to present a profile of Music Director Pierre Boulez (4/8).  Learn more about his years at the NYPO


George Benjamin's Dance Figures: Nine Choreographic Scennes for Orchestra starts off the month.  You can hear a version in advance.

3/4          Benjamin: Dance Figures: Nine Choreographic Scenes for Orchestra (2004) Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun  Ginastera: Danzas del Ballet Estancia


2/4           Mozart: Keyboard Concerto, K.238, Piano Concertos, K.491 and K.503 (Jeffrey Kahane, p and cond)
2/11         Pintscher: towards Osiris: Study for Orchestra Berg: Violin Concerto Brahms/Schoenberg: Piano Quartet No. 1 (Pinchas Zukerman, v; Christoph Eschenbach, cond)


It's an overture to an unfinished opera by the French composer Hector Berlioz, a theatrical work L’Histoire du soldat to be read, played and danced, and Mozart's Paris Symphony this month with the New York Philharmonic.


December holds plenty of gifts from the New York Philharmonic, including Messiah on 12/17, a Winter Jukebox on 12/24 and Music of Our Time on 12/31.

Classic FM

11/5     Mahler: Symphony No. 6 (Semyon Bychkov, cond)
11/12   Mahler: Symphony No. 7 (Rafael Kubelik, cond)
11/19   Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (Christine Brewer, s; Nancy Gustafson, s; Jeanine De Bique, s; Mary Phillips, ms; Nancy Maultsby, ms; Anthony Dean Griffey, t; Wolfgang Schöne, bs; Jason Grant, bs-bar; New York Choral Artists; The Dessoff Symphonic Choir; Brooklyn Youth Chorus; Lorin Maazel, cond)
11/26   Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Alan Gilbert, cond)

Joyce DiDonato. Photo: Simon Pauly

New Yorker music critic Alex Ross has a theory about the present state of classical music culture in New York City.  It's back to the future. 

In his words, leading institutions are choosing repertoire that reflect "the eternal return to the world that was." 

Classic FM

10/1      Mahler: Blumine, Symphony No. 1, Songs of a Wayfarer, Symphony No. 10 (Håkan Hågegard, bar; Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Jaap Van Zweden and Kurt Masur, cond)
10/8      Mahler: Three Rückert Lieder, Symphony No. 2 (Jessica Jones, s; Cornelia Kallisch, ms; New York Choral Artists; Jennie Tourel, ms; Leonard Bernstein, cond)
10/15    Mahler: Symphony No. 3 (Yvonee Minton, s; Camerata Singers; Boys’ Choir of the Little Church Around the Corner and Trinity School; Pierre Boulez, cond)