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

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.

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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. 

Music in the era of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, has enjoyed an acclaimed rediscovery in Europe. However, few American groups have taken up this music of the French Baroque, aside from Philadelphia's Tempesta di Mare. As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, the early-music orchestra has started a multi-year project of concerts and recordings.
 

What's the news about Opera Philadelphia’s just-announced 2015-2016 season? As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, the season is the company’s most far-reaching yet.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra is hardly settling into a routine in its fourth season with Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Plans for 2015-2016 announced this week have the conductor going well beyond typical classical subscription concerts, plus engineering guest appearances that are bound to make national news. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

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Opera star Deborah Voigt has always been a straight-shooting diva, openly discussing her weight problems, the surgery she underwent to address them, and the possible effects that had on her voice. Yet as The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, the singer goes well beyond that in her new autobiography, Call Me Debbie.

Etiquette books talk about how to be a perfect guest. But Bramwell Tovey could write one on how to be the perfect guest conductor. He isn't afraid to program crowd pleasers, but does them on a level that has won him a Grammy Award.

He's not only up for conducting Christmas concerts - not typical for someone of his stature - but for his forthcoming one with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he has actually written a Christmas carol. Or, as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, he's still writing it.

Richard Nixon, Patty Hearst, and J. Robert Oppenheimer are just three of the historic figures that have been portrayed on the modern opera stage. Next is the most beloved icon of all, John F. Kennedy, in an opera that will premiere in Fort Worth, but is being partly developed by Opera Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns is finding out just what might make JFK sing.

When Roberto Diaz graduated from being principal violist of The Philadelphia Orchestra to president of the Curtis Institute, you could easily assume that one of the city's most charismatic performers would be mostly found behind a desk. Instead, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns finds him preparing to premiere Jennifer Higdon's Viola Concerto, just one of the 70 to 80 other engagements he'll play in the coming year.

Great monuments aren’t always great concert halls. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns recently visited the 11th-century Canterbury Cathedral in England, and came to learn a new way of listening.  

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