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

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.

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. 

The Philadelphia Orchestra is going deeper into China than ever before, into the Hunan province where modern arts centers have only existed for a few years, and out of Macao's air-conditioned casinos for outdoor performing amid the ruins of a cathedral. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns will be there every step of the way.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has played unstaged concert versions of operas before...but never like this. The opera is Salome, with the famous "Dance of the Seven Veils." And how can singers stand still for that? The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports on how Verizon Hall is being turned into an opera house.

Lyric Fest, the concert series that's been giving high-concept song recitals for 10 years, is celebrating women poets on March 28th and 30th with concerts in Bryn Mawr and Center City titled "American Women Poets in Song" -  but with new music written by male composers. Maybe the female composers were too busy? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns discovers that song recitals are a world with few rules.

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