David Patrick Stearns

Arts Reporter

David Patrick Stearns is classical music critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer and arts reporter for WRTI's Creatively Speaking. He received his master's degree in musicology from New York University while working as music and theater critic for USA Today. He wrote the documentary film David Amram: The First 80 Years and is currently at work on two other documentaries. He is a frequent recording reviewer for the London-based magazine Gramophone. He is also a contributor to Opera News, The Guardian and Obit-Mag.com

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Creatively Speaking
1:25 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Bramwell Tovey: A Musical Attache

Conductor and composer Bramwell Tovey

Etiquette books talk about how to be a perfect guest. But Bramwell Tovey could write one on how to be the perfect guest conductor. He isn't afraid to program crowd pleasers, but does them on a level that has won him a Grammy Award.

He's not only up for conducting Christmas concerts - not typical for someone of his stature - but for his forthcoming one with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he has actually written a Christmas carol. Or, as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, he's still writing it.

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Creatively Speaking
5:54 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

A New Opera Remembers A Tragic Day In Dallas

Richard Nixon, Patty Hearst, and J. Robert Oppenheimer are just three of the historic figures that have been portrayed on the modern opera stage. Next is the most beloved icon of all, John F. Kennedy, in an opera that will premiere in Fort Worth, but is being partly developed by Opera Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns is finding out just what might make JFK sing.

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Creatively Speaking
7:20 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Roberto Diaz: Once A Violist...

Violist Roberto Diaz

When Roberto Diaz graduated from being principal violist of The Philadelphia Orchestra to president of the Curtis Institute, you could easily assume that one of the city's most charismatic performers would be mostly found behind a desk. Instead, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns finds him preparing to premiere Jennifer Higdon's Viola Concerto, just one of the 70 to 80 other engagements he'll play in the coming year.

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Creatively Speaking
6:02 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Listening to Missa Solemnis in Canterbury Cathedral

Great monuments aren’t always great concert halls. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns recently visited the 11th-century Canterbury Cathedral in England, and came to learn a new way of listening.  

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Creatively Speaking
12:04 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Princeton: A Smart Choice For Music

Few quaint New Jersey towns have major orchestras, choruses, and chamber music performances - but Princeton does. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports on the vibrant music scene in this center of academic excellence.

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Creatively Speaking
1:00 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

The Organ Goes Mainstream

Organist Cameron Carpenter

For many people, organ music is for weddings, funerals, and the Phantom of the Opera. But as the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, this pious pocket of classical music is starting to become mainstream.

Why didn't we know about this before? After the gala installation of the Kimmel Center's Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in 2006, interest waned among less-devout concertgoers. And let's face it, the organ community can seem like a forbidding club of connoisseurs. The organ could have sunk into aficionado obscurity.

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Creatively Speaking
10:37 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Do You Know The First Figaro?

Neal Bledsoe as Count Almaviva, Adam Green as Figaro, and Naomi O'Connell as Rosine in Stephen Wadsworth's Beaumarchais adaptations, THE FIGARO PLAYS, at Princeton's McCarter Theatre through April, 2014.

Figaro, the wily barber of Seville is portrayed in two great operas. The popular Rossini work that bears his name and Mozart’s account of his marriage.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns explores how some legendary characters continue to speak to a contemporary director.

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Creatively Speaking
7:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

The Birth of an Orchestra

Michael Butterman is music director of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic

The Pennsylvania Philharmonic may be the ultimate anomaly: an orchestra that's being born rather than fearing its death. The idea is that if the outlying Pennsylvania towns can't support an orchestra on its own, maybe four or five or six can do so between them - and afford the star pianist Simone Dinnerstein. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports from Pottstown.

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Creatively Speaking
3:45 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Branford Marsalis' Classical Side

Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis is on tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Nobody is surprised when jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis explores the classical side of his personality. Though on his current tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, he's on new ground playing music by contemporaries of J.S. Bach written a century before the saxophone was even invented. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found out how that actually worked.

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Creatively Speaking
10:44 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Violinist Tim Fain: Uniting Music Of The Cutting Edge With The Distant Past

Violinist Tim Fain

For all his hip Brooklyn looks, and up-to-the-minute repertoire, violinist Tim Fain is not adverse to traditional repertoire.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports on a classical musician who doesn’t embrace the future by turning the page on the past.

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