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

Live classical music in a shopping mall? For roughly 25 years, it's been happening at Liberty Place in Philadelphia at Christmastime with Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart, courtesy of an all-female orchestra known as the Liberty Strings. But the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports that this holiday tradition may be in jeopardy.




Though planned for years, the Dec. 5th concert by The Crossing and Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture's Takht Ensemble at Bryn Mawr College presents new music by Syrian composers right at a time when their homeland is in civil war. However, the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports that the music isn't about current strife, but earlier, more peaceful times.

One of the better-kept musical secrets in Bucks County is the Concordia Chamber Players, which performs in a number of venues near Doylestown and New Hope that are scenically beautiful but can also require a good GPS to find. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns arrived at a recent concert in Solebury, and this is what he found.

AustinArt.org

One highlight of Philadelphia's recent Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre came when the F. Otto Haas Award for emerging artists went to Akeem Davis, a 28-year-old actor from Miami who has been working so continuously that the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns wonders how he found time to actually accept the $15,000 prize.

Philadelphia has a new semi-resident choral group: Seraphic Fire, the Florida-based ensemble that is now expanding its seasons to New York and Washington DC as well. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports on this rare export from the Sunshine State.

Philadelphia tenor Stephen Costello has survived tonsil surgery, reflux, and most recently, the Metropolitan Opera's super-glitzy, Las Vegas-style production of Rigoletto. The morning after opening night, he took stock of it all with The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.

Opera Philadelphia is celebrating its 40th birthday by announcing the boldest change of its history. The company has just unveiled the creation of an annual season-opening opera festival - Festival O - premiering in September of 2017 with O17. It's modeled after two highly successful American festivals - Sundance in Park City, Utah and Spoleto in Charleston, SC. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

Donald Burkhart / Bowerbird

In a prelude to what could become a full-blown festival, Bowerbird, the experimental music presenter, stages two events on Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th making a case for Julius Eastman, a Curtis Institute-trained, African-American composer who became a fearlessly provocative figure in the 1970s avant-garde. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

Ron Berard/Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera changed the face of theatergoing nearly a decade ago with  high-definition simulcasts in movie theaters using a technology associated more with rock concerts and boxing matches than opera. What has the competition done to companies such as Opera Philadelphia? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns talks to both sides.

Longwood Gardens' vast Meadow Garden provides the set for a site-specific performance presented in partnership with Malvern-based People's Light theater company. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns joined the theatrical team of Lost in the Meadow in the scorching heat. The play's eight performances, created by PearlDamour (Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour) and Mimi Lien, run from September 9th through 19th.

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