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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WRTI Arts Desk
6:07 am
Mon May 25, 2015

The Arden Theatre Company Gets Passionate with Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for PASSION.

The Arden Theatre has staged 14 productions of Stephen Sondheim shows since 1993. But opening this month is a first: Passion, a simple love story between people who are anything but simple. Artistic director Terry Nolen tells the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns why he waited until he was good and ready.

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WRTI Arts Desk
9:26 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

Excitement Prevails Ahead Of Philadelphia Orchestra's European Tour

Violinist Lisa Batiashvili joins the Philadelphians on their European tour, starting in Luxembourg City on May 21, 2015, with additional performances in Cologne, Dresden, Berlin, Dortmund, Lyon, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, and London.

This spring's Philadelphia Orchestra tour destination isn't Beijing, but Berlin and nine other musical capitals of Europe. Between May 21st and June 6th, audiences will hear the level of music making that local listeners have known for three years under Yannick Nezet-Seguin. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports what is in store.

David Patrick Stearns: The biggest danger of the 2015 Philadelphia Orchestra tour of Europe is that the rest of the orchestra's year might seem like a letdown – to judge from Yannick Nezet-Seguin's state of elation.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:21 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

No Conductor, No Management, No Problem

The Prometheus Chamber Orchestra performs without a conductor.

Does Philadelphia need another orchestra? Well, it now has the 18-member Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, born out of sheer determination by recent Temple University graduates and finishing up its second season with a go-where-it's-needed philosophy. As the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, that includes periodic visits to a North Philadelphia soup kitchen.

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WRTI Arts Desk
3:30 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Bass-Baritone Eric Owens: Not Taking Anything For Granted

Bass-baritone Eric Owens

 

Eric Owens has come a long way from Philadelphia's Central High School. This once-fledging oboe player has evolved into a bass-baritone who has opera productions built around him. One is Opera Philadelphia's current Don Carlo, where he's singing the role of lonely, powerful King Philip, but took time to share trade secrets with The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:29 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Exploring PA's Historic Coal-Mining Culture...Through Song

Composer Julia Wolfe, composer of ANTHRACITE FIELDS, a Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia commision, has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

The Mendelssohn Club Choir mounted its biggest-ever production last April, 2014 with the premiere of Anthracite Fields by the cutting-edge composer Julia Wolfe, who is exploring the coal-mining culture in her Pennsylvania roots. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns met with her...inside a coal mine. 

Update:

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:07 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Warming Up for Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain

Jennifer Higdon's first opera, COLD MOUNTAIN, premieres in Philadelphia in January, 2016.

Operagoers have a number of months to wait for the Jennifer Higdon/Gene Scheer opera, Cold Mountain, which premieres in Santa Fe in August, and then in February 2016 at Philadelphia's Academy of Music. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns caught a sneak preview at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, where singers and authors were interviewed and excerpts were performed.

"A fence is a very good thing."

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WRTI Arts Desk
9:02 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Searching For Sunken Musical Treasure in the Milwaukee River

The 2014 reissue of The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 2

The boxed set, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 2, recorded from 1928 to 1932, documents American music at its most basic. The original vinyl records from which the set is derived are so sought after that the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found a collector who had been skin diving in the Milwaukee River in search of the elusive discs.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:21 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Opera Gets Out Of The House

The Philadelphia Singers

So you thought you could escape from opera by simply staying out of the opera house? Not any more. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns takes a tour of opera performed in barrooms, the Philly Fringe Festival, and at concerts by The Philadelphia Singers.

 

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WRTI Arts Desk
2:12 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

What Did Bach Sound Like In The Time of Mendelssohn?

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Musicians have struggled to determine what J.S. Bach sounded like in his own time for decades. As The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia turned back the clock in a different direction on February 8th at Girard College, determining what Bach sounded like in the time of...Mendelssohn.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:49 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Dawn Upshaw's Master Class Brings Together Vocalists and Composers of New Music

Dominic M. Mercier

Having premiered much new music, soprano Dawn Upshaw held a master class for singers and Opera Philadelphia's composers in residence…together! The better they understand each other, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, the better listeners will understand them. 
 



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