Classical Music Station in Philadelphia

WRTI – your Classical Music Station in Philadelphia – is committed to the presentation of the highest quality in classical music and jazz, through live broadcasts, locally produced programs, and in-depth coverage of the classical music scene.


Welcome to our classical music station in Philadelphia. We are excited to share our love of classical music with you. Our station offers a wide variety of classical music, from Bach to Beethoven to Brahms. We hope you enjoy our station.

What is classical music?

Classical music is a broad term that usually refers to the period of music from 1750 to 1820. This era includes the work of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, who were considered by their contemporaries to be the three great masters of this style of music. The word “classical” can also be used to describe a high level of excellence in any field, not just music.

The history of classical music

Classical music is art music that has a long tradition of composition, performance and criticism, and belongs to the Western classical music tradition. It has roots in the medieval era and the Renaissance, and developed through large-scale changes in tonality and form into new musics by the Baroque era, the Classical era, Romanticism and Modernism.

The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period. Western staff notation is used by composers to indicate to performers the pitch, tempo, metre and rhythms for a piece of music. This can leave less room for practices such as improvisation and ad libitum ornamentation, which are frequently heard in non-Western art music and in popular-music styles such as jazz and blues.

The Philadelphia classical music scene

The city of Brotherly Love offers a surprisingly lively classical music scene. From the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra to smaller ensembles, the city has something to offer for everyone who enjoys classical music. Philadelphia is also home to a number of important classical music venues, including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Verizon Hall.

The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the “Big Five” American orchestras, along with those in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The orchestra’s home is the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

The orchestra was founded in 1900 by Fritz Scheel, who also acted as its first conductor. In its early years the orchestra toured extensively throughout the eastern United States and Europe. In 1913 it made its first appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York City under Theodore Thomas’s direction; Thomas led the orchestra on several subsequent occasions before his death in 1905.

Important changes to the orchestra occurred in 1907 when Carl Pohl became its manager and Leopold Stokowski its principal conductor. Under their leadership the orchestra became known for performing contemporary works by such composers as Camille Saint-Saëns, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Ottorino Respighi; it also gave noted world premieres of works by Maurice Ravel and Arnold Schoenberg.
After Pohl’s death in 1912, Stokowski steadily increased his control over both artistic and financial matters, leading to his dismissal by the orchestra’s board of directors in 1941. In 1936 he had signed a contract that made him both music director and principal conductor for life—a rare arrangement at that time—and gave him complete control over programming and personnel decisions. This led to conflicts with some musicians and managers that continued after his ouster.
Despite these conflicts, under Stokowski’s direction (1936–38; 1941-42; 1956–63) the Philadelphia Orchestra became world-renowned for both its virtuosity and distinctive sound. He demanding rehearsals and took an active role in training his players to produce a smooth legato string tone that has come to be called “the Philly Sound.” This unique string sound was achieved partly through Stokowski’s insistence on having his players use no vibrato or vibrato-like effects while playing sustained notes—a style of playing known as “straight tones” or “stopped vibrato.” He also gave his players greater freedom to shape phrasing than was common at that time. These innovations helped make the Philadelphia Orchestra one of the most influential orchestras of the twentieth century.

The Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music is one of the world’s leading music schools, with alumni that include Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, and Menahem Pressler. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Curtis boasts a highly selective admissions process, admitting only 4% of applicants each year on average. Students at Curtis receive merit-based scholarships and are not required to pay tuition; the school relies on donations to cover operating expenses. Curtis offers Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in a variety of programs, as well as Artist Diploma and Professional Studies Certificate programs.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is a world-class performing arts center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mann Center is one of the most popular venues for classical music in the city, and it is also home to the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Mann Center is known for its excellent acoustics, and it is one of the most sought-after venues in the city for classical music concerts.

Classical music radio in Philadelphia

If you’re a fan of classical music, you’re in luck – Philadelphia has a great classical music radio station. WPHI (103.9 FM) is the city’s only classical music station, and it’s a great place to find new music and old favorites.


WFLN (105.7 FM) is a commercial classical music radio station licensed to Narberth, Pennsylvania, serving Greater Philadelphia. The station is owned by Beasley Broadcast Group. WFLN’s studios are in Bala Cynwyd, while its transmitter is based on Monument Road in West Norriton Township, Montgomery County.

WFLN broadcasts in the HD Radio hybrid format; its HD2 subchannel airs an automated classical music format branded as “The Masterpiece Channel”.


If you are searching for a classical music radio station in Philadelphia, you will want to tune in to WRTI. This station is dedicated to providing listeners with quality classical music programming 24 hours a day. You can find WRTI at 90.1 FM on your radio dial.


WXPN (88.5 FM) is a public radio station licensed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a member-supported radio station that serves the Greater Philadelphia region. The station’s broadcasts primarily feature music genres such as rock, blues, and folk. Additionally, WXPN produces several music-related podcasts and hosts live musical performances.


As you can see, there are many different types of classical music stations in Philadelphia. Each has its own unique flavor and offerings. It is up to the listener to decide which station they prefer. There is no wrong answer, as each station has something to offer classical music lovers.

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