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
5:30 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

The Year in Classical Music: 2013 In Review

The young Latvian composer Santa Ratniece had several pieces of jaw-dropping imagination unveiled by The Crossing in 2013.

As we approach year's end, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns looks back on the past 12 months in music and finds that Philadelphia has been moving steadily toward the cutting edge.

The city’s year in classical music started with the John Cage Beyond Silence Festival and a new opera titled Wolf in Skins with a stage full of animal/human hybrids. 2013 ends with the U.S. Premiere of a major choral work by Wolfgang Rihm, Germany's greatest but most complicated composer.

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Where Music Lives
7:23 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Princeton: A Musical Mecca!

Princeton, NJ in winter, where music lives...

Few smallish New Jersey towns have major orchestras, choruses and chamber music performances. But music lives in Princeton: and in many guises, as the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns now reports.

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Creatively Speaking
5:58 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Hélène Grimaud And The Piano Music Of Brahms

Pianist Helene Grimaud

Animals and nature are as big a part of Hélène Grimaud’s world as playing concertos with the great orchestras of the world. For years, the concert pianist's earnings went into the creation of the Wolf Conservation Center for endangered species in upstate New York. Then, after seven years of living in Switzerland, she's living back in North Salem, New York where the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns befriended her German Shepherd Chico.

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Creatively Speaking
7:47 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Ocean Grove: A (Coastal) Musical Sanctuary

Ocean Grove Great Auditorium

Music lives in Ocean Grove, NJ. Where else could you come in from the beach and hear an organ recital during the day, and opera arias at night? No wonder Ocean Grove's Great Auditorium, with its soaring ceiling and electrified American flag, has iconic status. Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns saw lingering Hurricane Sandy damage that's still being repaired and without any help from FEMA.

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Creatively Speaking
8:16 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin's Newly Found Treasure

Composer and pianist Leo Ornstein in 1914

This Wednesday’s Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert by Marc-Andre Hamelin and the Pacifica Quartet at the Kimmel Center reintroduces a piano quintet by a man who had rock-star fame as a pianist in the 1920s. He retreated to composition in the 1930s, ran a music school in Philadelphia in the 1940s and, as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns now reports, continued to be active in music until soon before his death at the age of 108.

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Creatively Speaking
8:09 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Get Me To The Show On Time!

Interior of the Academy of Music

The lullaby of Broadway is turning into more of a mid-evening serenade. Performance times for theater and classical music are shifting, and getting earlier all the time. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, it's not just a matter of time slots. It's a lot about us - and technology.

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Creatively Speaking
9:07 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Santa Brings Gifts To The Crossing Choir

Composer Santa Ratniece

The Crossing Choir regularly finds itself on cutting edges that many people don't know exist. But the latest gift to Donald Nally's modern music choir is a 36-year-old Latvian composer, named...Santa.

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Creatively Speaking
8:20 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Orchestra Musicians Take Center Stage In Custom Works

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen performs as soloist on October 31st and November 1st

The Philadelphia Orchestra is launching a mini festival of new concertos this week. But instead of the typical violin, piano, or cello soloists, the orchestra's principal harp, bassoon, and flute will be out in front, in pieces that, as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, promise to be anything but more of the same.

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Creatively Speaking
6:52 am
Mon October 21, 2013

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 giving Philadelphia Chamber Music Society traditionalists surprisingly little to fear in his forthcoming Nov. 1st recital. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns discovered that this is one classical musician who doesn’t embrace the future by turning the page on the past.

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Creatively Speaking
11:21 am
Mon October 14, 2013

A Great Week For Classical Music In Philly!

Guest Conductor Madeline Church, 9, was the winner of the conducting competition before the pop-up concert in Verizon Hall.

David Patrick Stearns reports on how The Philadelphia Orchestra turned the cancellation of a high-profile concert in New York City, into a triumphant civic celebration in Philadelphia. This, just days after an enthusiastic, 5,000-strong crowd gathered on Independence Mall to witness Opera Philadelphia’s season-opening production.

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