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

 

Eric Owens has come a long way from Philadelphia's Central High School. This once-fledging oboe player has evolved into a bass-baritone who has opera productions built around him. One is Opera Philadelphia's current Don Carlo, where he's singing the role of lonely, powerful King Philip, but took time to share trade secrets with The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.

The Mendelssohn Club Choir mounted its biggest-ever production last April, 2014 with the premiere of Anthracite Fields by the cutting-edge composer Julia Wolfe, who is exploring the coal-mining culture in her Pennsylvania roots. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns met with her...inside a coal mine. 

Update:

Operagoers have a number of months to wait for the Jennifer Higdon/Gene Scheer opera, Cold Mountain, which premieres in Santa Fe in August, and then in February 2016 at Philadelphia's Academy of Music. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns caught a sneak preview at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, where singers and authors were interviewed and excerpts were performed.

"A fence is a very good thing."

The boxed set, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 2, recorded from 1928 to 1932, documents American music at its most basic. The original vinyl records from which the set is derived are so sought after that the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found a collector who had been skin diving in the Milwaukee River in search of the elusive discs.

So you thought you could escape from opera by simply staying out of the opera house? Not any more. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns takes a tour of opera performed in barrooms, the Philly Fringe Festival, and at concerts by The Philadelphia Singers.

 

Musicians have struggled to determine what J.S. Bach sounded like in his own time for decades. As The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia turned back the clock in a different direction on February 8th at Girard College, determining what Bach sounded like in the time of...Mendelssohn.

Dominic M. Mercier

Having premiered much new music, soprano Dawn Upshaw held a master class for singers and Opera Philadelphia's composers in residence…together! The better they understand each other, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, the better listeners will understand them. 
 



Pete Checchia

You never know where you're going to run into The Philadelphia Orchestra. An earthquake zone in China? Tokyo's Suntory Hall? Last week, as The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, it was the Reading Terminal Market, where 11 string players crowded into the lunchtime bustle and invited everyday people to try their hand at conducting.

For many people, squid means calamari – not music. But for Philadelphia composer Bhob Rainey, the squid's neuron activity is the starting point of the new electronic music piece that he unveiled recently at the Vox Populi art space. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns charted the distance between squid and sound.

Radio script:

  

New musicals don’t often arise in Philadelphia. Musicals about sports come along even more seldom. But a musical about field hockey, developed by Philadelphia’s 11th Hour Theatre Company, is unprecedented. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns walked into the company's South Philly rehearsal studios hardly knowing what field hockey is. 

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