David Patrick Stearns

Arts Desk 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

Julieta Cervantes

Philadelphia has long been known as a theater tryout town, but one show that many have forgotten is the first mainstream African American hit Shuffle Along. Now, a documentary revision of the 1921 jazz musical is back and is a big Broadway hit.  The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns examines its local roots.

The Philadelphia Orchestra opens its 2016 Asia tour in Hong Kong with a pair of live WRTI broadcasts on May 19th and 20th with repertoire that includes, surprisingly, Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 — showing how Chinese concert presenters and audiences have evolved. Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports that collaborating with presenters can still be challenging.

Barry Lively

The Choral Arts Philadelphia concert series, Bach@7, has a new modern name on its May 4th concert program: Andrew Lipke — a singer/guitarist better known at local pop music clubs — in his new oratorio titled The Plague. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports how contagious it might be. 

Alexandra DeFurio

If The Philadelphia Orchestra ever had an orchestral dynasty, its name is dePasquale. But Francesca dePasquale, a 26-year-old violinist, told the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns how she's forging her own path as a soloist — and what that takes.

Few of The Philadelphia Orchestra's guest conductors were as great or as quirky as Otto Klemperer, whose recordings from his 1962 concerts with the ensemble have recently been remastered. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns discovered that the conductor is hardly forgotten.  

Saxophonist Charlie Parker is returning to Harlem's Apollo Theater more than 60 yeas after his death thanks to Opera Philadelphia's production of Charlie Parker's Yardbird. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports from Harlem.

How does a widely acknowledged great singer completely disappear into obscurity, turn up in a classic film, and then retire to Wilmington, Delaware? Such is the story of Latvian soprano Mascia Predit, whose few but great recordings are newly reissued - leaving the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns both enraptured and puzzled.

Is it a grand opera company, new music ensemble, or one of the weightier additions to Philadelphia’s FringeArts Festival? Opera Philadelphia’s new season seems to be all of those things, says the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns.


The Curtis Institute of Music is in the midst of an all-school, all-year project for 2015/2016 devoted to avant-garde music that Philadelphians often avoided when it was new 50 years ago - works by the so-called "Darmstadt" composers. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks just how well the music has aged.




The Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) is making a rare appearance at the Kimmel Center on January 26th to perform an opera that few have ever heard live - L'amore dei tre re - (The Love of the Three Kings.) The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found out about the opera, and why AVA has been longing to perform it. 

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