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
6:45 am
Mon February 17, 2014

The Relentless Career of Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Yannick Nezet-Seguin has been known to conduct the St. Matthew Passion and La Traviata - on the same day. But he recently returned from a two-month work hiatus brought on by illness. Now, as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, Yannick is learning how to pace himself, but not from his predecessor at the Rotterdam Philharmonic.

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Creatively Speaking
5:17 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Opera Philadelphia Gives Us: "The Bird"

Whenever Charlie Parker played a solo, you knew you'd feel good by the end. Opera Philadelphia is jumping off an even higher dive - an opera about the celebrated saxophonist, titled Charlie Parker's Yardbird that the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports will bring many unexpected things to the Perelman Theater at its 2015 premiere. 

Creatively Speaking
6:22 am
Mon January 20, 2014

All About Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

The Medieval music ensemble Sequentia is performing an all-Hildegard von Bingen concert in Philadelphia on January 29th at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 7:30 pm. As David Patrick Stearns reports, there are some interesting local angles: Philadelphia once had a chamber music group and a publishing house named after Hildegard, who - only in recent years - has finally been de

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Creatively Speaking
12:57 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The Philadelphia Singers Resurrect A Requiem

The Philadelphia Singers

Randall Thompson was famous, and wrote in a medium that was his specialty. Yet now his 1958 masterpiece Requiem is having to be saved from decades of obscurity by The Philadelphia Singers. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found out why such a resurrection was necessary.

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Creatively Speaking
5:59 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Priscilla's Broadway Adventure

Priscilla Herreid

Philadelphia theatergoers visiting New York for Shakespeare's Globe on Broadway may stumble upon a surprisingly familiar sight: Priscilla Smith Herreid, a member of the Philadelphia Renaissance wind band Piffaro, playing shawms and bagpipes to accompany the beheadings in Richard III as well as the comic complications of Twelfth Night.  The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stea

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Creatively Speaking
5:30 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

The Year in Classical Music: 2013 In Review

The young Latvian composer Santa Ratniece had several pieces of jaw-dropping imagination unveiled by The Crossing in 2013.

As we approach year's end, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns looks back on the past 12 months in music and finds that Philadelphia has been moving steadily toward the cutting edge.

The city’s year in classical music started with the John Cage Beyond Silence Festival and a new opera titled Wolf in Skins with a stage full of animal/human hybrids. 2013 ends with the U.S. Premiere of a major choral work by Wolfgang Rihm, Germany's greatest but most complicated composer.

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Where Music Lives
7:23 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Princeton: A Musical Mecca!

Princeton, NJ in winter, where music lives...

Few smallish New Jersey towns have major orchestras, choruses and chamber music performances. But music lives in Princeton: and in many guises, as the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns now reports.

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Creatively Speaking
5:58 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Hélène Grimaud And The Piano Music Of Brahms

Pianist Helene Grimaud

Animals and nature are as big a part of Hélène Grimaud’s world as playing concertos with the great orchestras of the world. For years, the concert pianist's earnings went into the creation of the Wolf Conservation Center for endangered species in upstate New York. Then, after seven years of living in Switzerland, she's living back in North Salem, New York where the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns befriended her German Shepherd Chico.

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Creatively Speaking
7:47 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Ocean Grove: A (Coastal) Musical Sanctuary

Ocean Grove Great Auditorium

Music lives in Ocean Grove, NJ. Where else could you come in from the beach and hear an organ recital during the day, and opera arias at night? No wonder Ocean Grove's Great Auditorium, with its soaring ceiling and electrified American flag, has iconic status. Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns saw lingering Hurricane Sandy damage that's still being repaired and without any help from FEMA.

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Creatively Speaking
8:16 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin's Newly Found Treasure

Composer and pianist Leo Ornstein in 1914

This Wednesday’s Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert by Marc-Andre Hamelin and the Pacifica Quartet at the Kimmel Center reintroduces a piano quintet by a man who had rock-star fame as a pianist in the 1920s. He retreated to composition in the 1930s, ran a music school in Philadelphia in the 1940s and, as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns now reports, continued to be active in music until soon before his death at the age of 108.

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