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
10:37 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Do You Know The First Figaro?

Neal Bledsoe as Count Almaviva, Adam Green as Figaro, and Naomi O'Connell as Rosine in Stephen Wadsworth's Beaumarchais adaptations, THE FIGARO PLAYS, at Princeton's McCarter Theatre through April, 2014.

Figaro, the wily barber of Seville is portrayed in two great operas. The popular Rossini work that bears his name and Mozart’s account of his marriage.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns explores how some legendary characters continue to speak to a contemporary director.

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Creatively Speaking
7:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

The Birth of an Orchestra

Michael Butterman is music director of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic

The Pennsylvania Philharmonic may be the ultimate anomaly: an orchestra that's being born rather than fearing its death. The idea is that if the outlying Pennsylvania towns can't support an orchestra on its own, maybe four or five or six can do so between them - and afford the star pianist Simone Dinnerstein. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports from Pottstown.

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Creatively Speaking
3:45 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Branford Marsalis' Classical Side

Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis is on tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Nobody is surprised when jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis explores the classical side of his personality. Though on his current tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, he's on new ground playing music by contemporaries of J.S. Bach written a century before the saxophone was even invented. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found out how that actually worked.

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Creatively Speaking
10:44 am
Mon October 6, 2014

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 not adverse to traditional repertoire.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports on a classical musician who doesn’t embrace the future by turning the page on the past.

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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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