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 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?

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.

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.

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.

You never know where you'll encounter composer Uri Caine - born, raised, and educated in Philadelphia, but now equally well known in jazz and classical circles around the world. But the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found him rehearsing in yet another musical continent at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Olney.

Monty Python meets opera? That’s exactly what’s happened in London last week where the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns saw how smart vulgar humor can be.

After six films made over 30 years, the mythical Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa has graduated to Broadway, with Rocky, the Musical, which last week won a Tony Award. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns says the old underdog is perfectly recognizable on the Winter Garden Theatre stage. But much else has changed.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s current 2014 tour of Asia and Japan has been rough and tumble enough with moldering halls in remote Chinese capitals and residency activities amid challenging acoustics and blistering heat. Is that what drives some of them to jump off the top of the 700-foot Macau Tower? The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports what orchestra members are going to some extremes to get a break from night after night of concerts.

One of the better ideas of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s tour of China and Japan turned out to be one of the toughest concerts of all: a Saturday morning pop-up performance by a quartet of French horn players at the ancient ruins of St Paul's Cathedral in Macau. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns withstood the tropical heat right along with them.

Jan Regan

On its 2014 Residency of China & Tour of Asia, The Philadelphia Orchestra is going deeper into China than ever before, and not just to more remote cities. On the first week of the trip, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns followed the players into the “belly of the beast”- the People’s Liberation Army Band in Beijing, where orchestra members gave the master classes.