Jim Cotter

Arts & Culture Editor

Jim was born and raised in Ireland. He began his radio career in Dublin before moving to the U.K. where he worked for BBC Radio Wales and the BBC World Service. He lived on the island of Crete in Greece for 10 years before moving to the United States.

Since 2002, Jim has been the station's arts and culture reporter and then 

Jim traveled to Europe in 2004, and to Asia in 2005 and 2008 to report on Philadelphia Orchestra tours for WRTI and to Scotland in 2005 with Pennsylvania Ballet.  

In 2013, Jim was awarded a prestigious Knight Arts Grant to produce "Philadelphia Music Makers," a new artist-hosted music program he created. The series will begin airing on WRTI in Fall 2014. 

Jim can be heard throughout the week in Creatively Speaking arts features and in Sunday Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts. 

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Creatively Speaking
12:13 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Cristian Macelaru: Standing In and Standing Out

Cristian Macelaur, conductor

Gone are the days when Cristian Macelaru (pronounced match-a-law-roo) was described as being among the most promising conductors of his generation.  He's now simply one of the finest.   In April 2014 Macelaru received the highly coveted Solti Fellow, one of the largest grants currently awarded to American conductors. Macelaru received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012, and despite becoming more established says he’d be happy to be called a young conductor for some time to come.

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Creatively Speaking
1:09 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A German Soprano Finds Freedom In Singing Mahler In America

Soprano Christiane Karg

On this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast, Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts works by Britten and Strauss, along with Mahler's Symphony No. 4. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the German soprano in the Mahler work is singing a piece that is revered in her homeland.

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Creatively Speaking
12:05 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Yannick Conducts His Alma Mater Choir...and The Philadelphia Orchestra!

Westminster Symphonic Choir

Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey is an epicenter for excellence in choral music. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, one of Westminster’s choirs can be heard on WRTI on Sunday, July 13 at 1 pm, conducted by a now very well-known alum of the school.

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Creatively Speaking
2:27 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

PAFA Celebrates African American Art

Alma Woodsey Thomas, WIND AND FLOWERS, 1973, watercolor on paper, 14 1/2 x 18 in, The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts now has a two-part exhibition of works on paper by African American artists. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the works on view represent a wide range of explorations in this medium.

In his essay "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," the great academic and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois argued that true equality for African Americans would ultimately have to also include an end to cultural isolation. This latest PAFA exhibition takes its title from that 1903 essay published in Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk.

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Creatively Speaking
10:36 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Painter Benjamin West: A Colonial-Age Art Superstar

Benjamin West in a portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1783-1784.

Born in 1738 in a village just outside Philadelphia, Benjamin West was one of the first Americans to achieve superstar status on the international art scene.  However, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter Reports, West’s success came not at home, but abroad.

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Creatively Speaking
12:31 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

An Orchestra Musician Who Has Seen Them All

Herbert Light holds the Larry A. Grika Chair in the first violin section of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Since its founding in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has had four music directors whose tenures have lasted more than a decade. Today, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, there is one member of the ensemble who has played under all of these great conductors.

When violinist Herbert Light won his audition for the Orchestra in 1961, it was his second job offer in a week.

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Creatively Speaking
6:20 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Ocean City Pops Are Back For Summer!

As summer approaches, WRTI's Jim Cotter takes us down the shore to the Ocean City Music Pier. There have been concerts on the music pier since 1929, when it hosted performances by the new Municipal Orchestra. Since then, what is today the Ocean City Pops, has operated under a variety of names and conductors. In 1987, the orchestra appointed a new music director; William (Bill) Scheible has led the Pops since then.

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Creatively Speaking
3:53 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Violinist Nikolaj Znaider's Beethoven Odyssey

Ludwig van Beethoven tried certain musical forms only once. One opera, one violin concerto, was all he wrote.

Violinist Nikolaj Znaider says he spent years preparing to take on, what he says is, one of the most difficult pieces for his instrument. It took age, and its attendant personal and artistic growth, for him to get beyond what he describes as "mere graphical representation of the music, those black dots on white paper."

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

A Freelance Classical Musician's Tell-All Memoir Becomes Amazon Series

Gael García Bernal plays the role of Rodrigo in the new Amazon Studios series, MOZART IN THE JUNGLE.

 

The way we watch television has altered radically in the past 10 years. So, too, has the classical music world. Yet now, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, a musician's memoir written a decade ago is being adapted for television...but not for any traditional TV station.

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Creatively Speaking
11:41 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Philly's Kid Fest Celebrates 30!

The 30th Philadelphia International Children’s Festival runs Wednesday, April 30 – Sunday, May 4, 2014. Featuring family-friendly theater performances, as well as a host of fun and interactive activities in the FUN ZONE, the Outdoor Plaza gets kids involved with crafts, face painting, jugglers and more.

WRTI's Jim Cotter speaks with Dawn Frisby Byers, director of marketing and communications for the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

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