Philadelphia loses musician couple to Covid

Philadelphia loses musician couple to Covid


norman lebrecht

March 15, 2021

From WRTI:

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bliss Michelson, a classical host for WRTI since 2014, an interviewer for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, and an accomplished double bass player. Bliss died in New Jersey on Sunday, March 14th from complications of COVID-19. He was 71 years old.

His wife, oboist Peggy Wiltrout, died two week earlier of Covid.


  • CarlD says:

    I’ve enjoyed his radio broadcasts countless times. Very sad news. RIP, Bliss. You will be missed.

  • Jasper says:

    Bliss Michelson recently took over hosting duties for the Classical Weekdays 6:00-10:00 AM time slot. This was as a result of Gregg Whiteside’s abrupt departure from the station in January 2021. Whiteside had been at WRTI since 2004. The station lost two extremely capable classical music program hosts in less than two months.


    • Ellen says:

      I feel the same way. I knew my mornings wouldn’t be the same when they let Gregg Whiteside go so abruptly. I was comforted in knowing that Bliss Michelson was going to be taking over. Then he too disappeared. What a loss for all of us- I am deeply saddened by Bliss’s passing- he was one of a kind.

  • Dave says:

    My wife, who listens to WRTI, was shocked to hear that Bliss Michelson had pass away. This seemed to be rather sudden. He had a warm, engaging radio voice.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    His wife, oboist Peggy Wiltrout, passed away from COVID on February 26th. May they both rest in peace.

  • Tom Moore says:

    I knew him well. When i was leading a local baroque ensemble he would always invite us to talk about our upcoming program. He was a sweetie.

  • Suzanne says:

    I never knew Mr. Michelson, but knew Peggy Wiltrout through musical and editorial projects. Was deeply saddened to learn here of her passing. May they both rest in peace.

  • Hal Sacks says:

    Bliss was attracted to the double bass at age 8. He played with the San Antonio Symphony for 13 years as well as with numerous other ensembles. His easy-going and informative demeanor on WRTI was enjoyable. Wonder if he ever discussed how he got his delightful first name on the air? May he and his wife rest in blissful peace.

  • Connie says:

    I feel as if I’ve lost a friend. I’m a long-time listener who cheered myself through most of a year while isolating out of town, streaming WRTI on my laptop for company. The chat back and forth between Gregg and Bliss was part of my morning and now they are both gone from the radio. Thank goodness for Debra! Sympathy and blessings to all.

  • Jim Kennedy says:

    How shocking and incredibly sad. Bliss was a really smart and gracious man. I am very saddened at this terrible loss, along with that of his wife.

  • Joyce A Galanter says:

    I met Bliss when volunteering at WWFM many years ago and especially enjoyed his interviews with local classical performers as well as his hosting on WWFM and WRTI. I will miss him.

  • Joan Bowman says:

    I was saddened today to learn of Bliss Mickelson’s passing from Covid 19. He was an excellent host, and he will be missed by all his listeners.

  • Philip Myers says:

    Peggy Wiltrout, Elkhart, Indiana, always a positive influence, contemporary of my sister, quite sorry to hear of her passing.

  • Helen Campbell says:

    Very sad. I knew Bliss in the 1970s, when we both played in the San Antonio Symphony. His later career as a musical commentator seemed perfect for him, and I knew he had a devoted listenership. What a loss.

  • Claire McCabe says:

    Loved your programming and your musical expertise! We have lost a great man an woman!