For immediate release
May 31, 2006

NPR's Performance Today Presents a Beethoven Symphony Marathon Featuring Exclusive Concerts by the Philadelphia Orchestra, June 5 - 16

Broadcasts, Co-Produced by NPR and WHYY Philadelphia, Will Be Archived at for On-Demand Listening

Washington, D.C. -- Performance Today, the NPR classical music show, will offer exclusive broadcasts of The Philadelphia Orchestra's performances of all nine Beethoven symphonies. The concerts will air each weekday from Monday, June 5 - Friday, June 16 and will not be available on CD.

Additionally, each symphony broadcast, along with background about the music and the performances, will be archived on the NPR website,, for on-demand listening until June 5, 2007.

Maestro Christoph Eschenbach leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in all of the Beethoven Symphonies, including the exultant finale of the Symphony No. 9, the Ode to Joy, which has become the international anthem for peace and unity. In his symphonies, Beethoven transformed himself from a rule-abiding classical composer to a bold innovator, exploring powerful themes of peace, nature, revolution, despair, and also humor.

Additionally, Performance Today host Fred Child interviews Maestro Eschenbach for his unique perspective on these seminal works. The broadcasts, which are co-produced by NPR and NPR Member station WHYY Philadelphia, were recorded during the 2005-06 season in Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

NPR's Performance Today reaches 1.2 million listeners on 237 stations around the country.

The April 13 edition of Performance Today marked The Philadelphia Orchestra's return to national airwaves for the first regular series of broadcasts since the 1997-98 season.

To find local stations and broadcast times for Performance Today, visit

Press contacts:

NPR: Chad Campbell, 202.513.2304,
The Philadelphia Orchestra: Catherine Brown, 215.893.3136,
WHYY: Anna Christopher, 215.351.2066,

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.