David Patrick Stearns

Arts Desk Reporter

David Patrick Stearns is classical music critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer and a contributing arts reporter for WRTI. 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

Jan Regan / Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra is back from its debut in Mongolia, where planned full-orchestra concerts needed to be canceled due to a nation-wide financial crisis. Instead, a contingent of 18 musicians spent two days in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Now, the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks what this could lead to.

Credit: Matthew Murphy

Benj Pasek (an Ardmore native) and Justin Paul—best friends from their days at the University of Michigan—won a 2017 Academy Award for writing the lyrics to the song "City of Stars" from the hit film La La Land. They're also Golden Globe winners! And now... they can add Tony awards to the mantle, including the 2017 Tony for Best Musical.

Mark Garvin

The classic Broadway musical Gypsy is back, this time at the Arden Theatre through June 25th with Philly favorite Mary Martello in the role of Mama Rose. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns asks why this character is forever fascinating.


An 18-member contingent from the Philadelphia Orchestra is going to Mongolia June 2nd through the 4th. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports on the preparations as part of its Far East tour to China and South Korea.


Credit: Timmy Chooi

For the first time since 1999, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra is on a multi-city, 18-day tour of Europe—opening May 20th in Helsinki and continuing through Berlin, London, Salzburg, and Vienna among others—led by conductor Osmo Vanska.

Credit: Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera, 2017

Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been entering the Metropolitan Opera through the backstage artists' entrance for years, though now it’s different: He’s now among those who run the place. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns met him there prior to his April to May run of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman.

In an era when everything musical is available all the time, I'm still puzzling why I ordered an overwhelmingly large box set of recordings by the French chanteuse Edith Piaf.

Few inventions were as complicated as the atomic bomb. But the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns discovered that Curtis Opera Theatre’s production of the John Adams opera Doctor Atomic couldn't be simpler—or more provocative.

Rossini’s Tancredi is seldom heard, so opera audiences may only be curious. But the singers can’t wait, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns tells why. Stephanie Blythe sings the title role in Opera Philadelphia's production of Tancredi on Feb. 15, 17, and 19.

Dr. Albert Barnes was often keen to mix music with his legendary art collection. So in that spirit, the Barnes Foundation will be adding some 16 concerts to Philadelphia’s classical music community. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports they will be serious.

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