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
7:36 am
Mon September 29, 2014

A Modern Barber of Seville for Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia's production of The Barber of Seville runs through October 5th at the Academy of Music.
Kelly & Massa

The Barber of Seville is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Opera-goers always kind of knew that. But in Opera Philadelphia's new production, the setting is being brought forward 200 years to modern Spain - where passion crosses the line into...who knows? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

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Creatively Speaking
10:46 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Up-and-Coming Orchestras Impress At This Year's Proms

Royal Albert Hall in London

This year, the trend-setting BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall had a season that brought in orchestras from the least-likely of places: Lapland, Iceland and Turkey.  What could they bring to a table dominated by the storied orchestras of Vienna and Berlin? A distinctive national identity, says the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.

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Creatively Speaking
4:56 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

A Goodyear For Beethoven

There's been a lot of buzz about Pianist Stewart Goodyear's Beethoven "Sonatathon" concerts.

For the past few years, pianist Stewart Goodyear has been reconnecting to his musical roots through Beethoven. He performed all 32 of the composer's piano sonatas in a single day in 2011 and 2013, and then over four concerts last month. A stunt? A statement? Goodyear tells The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns it's more like a calling.

Isn't Stewart Goodyear that pianist who specializes in Gershwin?

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Creatively Speaking
2:24 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Cautionary Tales for Ambitious Young Musicians

Many classical pianists of the second half of the 20th century shone but briefly. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns looks at a nearly lost generation of musicians.

The F. Scott Fitzgerald saying, that there are no second acts in American lives, would seem to be borne out by America's great pianists of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. All had careers that buckled in one way or another under the relentless pressure of concerts, recordings, and radio broadcasts.

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Creatively Speaking
5:13 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Trying To Rehabiliate One Of History's Most Problematic Operas

Opera fans often hope to find some sort of lost masterpiece or even an obscure work by a great composer; which is what the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns recently encountered at the Bard Summerscape Festival, with the help of a creative team that knows Philadelphians well.

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Creatively Speaking
3:27 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Musical Theater Star Chita Rivera in "The Visit"

Chita Rivera

Revenge fantasies don't get any nastier than The Visit, the 1950s play about a billionaire who returns to the hometown that had done her wrong, having secretly...bought it. But is that something to sing about? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found that the 81-year-old Chita Rivera is in her element doing just that. The Visit, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 17th.

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Creatively Speaking
1:43 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Parlor Music of the Past: Still As Fun As Ever

Joyce Lindorff

Big revelations sometimes come in unassuming packages. And when Temple University harpsichordist Joyce Lindorff spent a month at historic Williamsburg, Virginia studying parlor music from colonial times, she came away  with new ways of playing and hearing. It was also, as The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, a lot of fun! 

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Creatively Speaking
11:44 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Octavius Catto Celebrated In Song At The Mann Center

Civil-rights activist Octavius Catto was mudered in 1871 on his way to vote.

You never know where you'll encounter composer Uri Caine - born, raised, and educated in Philadelphia, but now equally well known in jazz and classical circles around the world. But the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found him rehearsing in yet another musical continent at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Olney.

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Creatively Speaking
2:31 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

A Python Set Loose In The London Coliseum

Tenor Michael Spyres sings the title role in Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini.

Monty Python meets opera? That’s exactly what’s happened in London last week where the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns saw how smart vulgar humor can be.

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Creatively Speaking
3:54 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Rocky Wins Again!

ROCKY, THE MUSICAL is now on Broadway at NYC's Winter Garden Theatre.

After six films made over 30 years, the mythical Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa has graduated to Broadway, with Rocky, the Musical, which last week won a Tony Award. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns says the old underdog is perfectly recognizable on the Winter Garden Theatre stage. But much else has changed.

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