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
8:50 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Musicians Takin' It To The Streets

You don't have to go far to hear music in Philadelphia - sometimes it’s on the next street corner. A guy with an acoustic guitar plays folk/rap on Rittenhouse Square. People mailing their bills at the post office at 9th and Chestnut are treated to the sound of a vibraphone. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns looks at what Philadelphia has on the street, and what it could have.

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Creatively Speaking
9:35 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

So Percussion!

So Percussion

So Percussion is one of the most celebrated groups its kind in the U.S. and can usually be counted on for high-intensity rhythms. But in their one hour at the Philadelphia Fringe Arts festival this week they do a fair amount of talking, and in ways that suggest the cutting edge is getting softer.

Creatively Speaking
6:46 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Yannick Nezet-Seguin Conducts His First Full Wagner Opera

Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Philadelphians don’t often envy their neighbors in the north. But it was hard not to, when Yannick Nezet- Seguin conducted his Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal in an all-star concert performance of Wagner's Lohengrin at Festival Lanaudiere outside of Montreal on August 11th.

Even a significant diva cliffhanger didn't stop it, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns.


Creatively Speaking
7:08 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Opera In Unconventional Locales

Opera Philadelphia seemed to be itching for a break from the opera house with its pop-up performances at the Reading Terminal Market and Macy’s Center City. As The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, the company has announced formal plans to perform in even less predictable places.

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Creatively Speaking
9:39 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

A New Opera Takes Novel Approach

Composer Michael Hersch

Philadelphia has produced its share of opera singers. But what about operas themselves? Conservatives might say we have quite enough of them already. Nonetheless, there are currently six operas in the making in our region - one, each, by Jennifer Higdon, Missy Mazzoli, and Melissa Dunphy, and two from Andrea Clearfield. But the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns tracked down the one who crossed the finish line first - Havertown-based Michael Hersch - only to ask, is this really opera?

Michael Hersch's opera, On the Threshold of Winter, premieres next summer in New York by the Nunc new music ensemble.

Creatively Speaking
7:59 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Temple Keyboard Professor Discovers The Fun In New, Old Music

Harpsichordist Joyce Lindorff

Big revelations sometimes come in unassuming packages. Little did Temple University harpsichordist Joyce Lindorff know when she spent a month at historic Williamsburg, Virginia studying parlor music from colonial times - and on the instruments that were played - that she would come out with new ways of playing and hearing, and that it would be so much fun.  The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

Joyce Lindorff plays Music from The Harpsichord Miscellany on a just-released recording.

Creatively Speaking
3:45 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

A Philadelphia Favorite: Composer Jennifer Higdon

Composer Jennifer Higdon with Beau.

Philadelphia’s Jennifer Higdon is among the most-frequently performed living American composers. Her works have been performed around the world and recorded on dozens of CDs. Higdon received a Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2010 for her Violin Concerto, a composition written for violinist Hilary Hahn and first performed by Hahn and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2009. 

The prolific Higdon is in the process of adding an opera to her extensive repertoire. The joint commission of The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia is based on Charles Frazier’s Civil War novel Cold Mountain. It's scheduled to open in Santa Fe in 2015, followed by an East Coast premiere at the Academy of Music in February 2016. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns considers Jennifer Higdon's early development as a composer.
Jim Cotter explores how Philadelphia has influenced Jennifer Higdon's career.

Creatively Speaking
8:16 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Yannick Looks Ahead To The Philadelphia Orchestra's 2013-14 Season

His name is Yannick Nezet-Seguin, but in a New York Times profile, he was nicknamed Mighty Mouse by the opera star Joyce DiDonato. After all, he seems to have saved the day more than once for The Philadelphia Orchestra. And, as David Patrick Stearns reports, he hopes to continue to do so in the upcoming season.

Listen to a more detailed interview with Yannick about some of the highlights of The Philadelphia Orchestra's 2013-14 season.

Creatively Speaking
9:08 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Santa Brings Musical Gifts To The Crossing Choir

Composer Santa Ratniece

Composer Santa Ratniece speaks with The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.

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.

Creatively Speaking
6:20 am
Mon June 10, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra Readies To Leave China: What Next?

The Tianjin Grand Theater

The Philadelphia Orchestra may be one of the hardest working orchestra in show biz the way it’s been jumping around China recently.

Traveling with  the Orchestra, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns considers what the future may hold, and discovers that there are other relationships taking shape.

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