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
6:00 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Catch a Khachaturian

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet

A Soviet-era piano concerto that put an Armenian composer on the map, being performed by French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, is one of the highlights of this week's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert.  WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports.

Aram Khachaturian wrote his only piano concerto in 1936 in the USSR . It was a hit both at home and abroad, especially in the U.S. So much so that, a 1946 recording by William Kapell with the Boston Symphony Orchestra became so popular that it was often referred to as the "Khachaturian Kapell.”

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Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI
1:43 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

George Horner's Story: From Moravia to Death Camps to Prague to Australia to America

Pianist and Newtown Square resident George Horner narrowly escaped the Holocaust. He performed in the Terezin cabarets to lift the spirits of those around him.

A remarkable physician and pianist now living in Newtown Square, PA continues to affect the lives of all those he touches. On this week's Philadelphia Music Makers, you'll hear his story and his music. Tune in on Sunday, November 16 at 5 pm for this special show at 90.1 FM or online at wrti.org

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Creatively Speaking
7:03 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Lang Lang's U.S. Home

Pianist Lang Lang

Pianist Lang Lang came straight to Philadelphia from his native China in hope, rather than certainty, that he would be able to continue his musical education here.  It worked out, and he was admitted to the Curtis Institute where he bloomed into a major talent.

Many Philadelphia Orchestra musicians are Lang Lang’s former classmates from Curtis. And he’s been playing with them regularly since - in Philadelphia, and on tours around the world.

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Philadelphia Music Makers
6:36 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Violinist Shannon Lee: From Suzuki to Star Wars to Computer Science and Back Again

Violinist Shannon Lee
Shawn Northcutt

Though born in Canada, violinist Shannon Lee’s story really starts in Texas; for it was there that she began her musical journey. With three-year-old hands too small for the piano, Lee began Suzuki violin classes instead. 

By the time she completed all 10 Suzuki books, much of her social life revolved around rehearsals, workshops and music camps. For Lee, “play” has always meant music. 

At the age of 8, Lee secured the mentor who would nurture her through the end of high school - Jan Mark Sloman, then the Principal Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. 

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Creatively Speaking
6:07 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Robin Ticciati's Poise and Purpose

Conductor Robin Ticciati

A young British conductor is developing a fruitful relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra. WRTI's Jim Cotter reports.

Lauded for his diverse range of conducting styles and his unique sense of silence as an expressive tool, Robin Ticciati has achieved much in his 31 years. He founded a chamber ensemble while only 21, and made his La Scala debut at 22 - the youngest conductor ever to stand on the podium of Italy’s greatest opera house.

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Philadelphia's Age-Old Love Of Beer

An advertisement for Bergner and Engel's Brewery, circa 1875

Anyone who has ever attended a local sports event knows that Philadelphians love their beer. But what’s less well understood is the role that Philadelphia brewers, many of whom were German immigrants, played in the social and economic development of the city during the 1800s. WRTI's Jim Cotter reports.

Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI
1:14 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Composer David Ludwig: All In The Family

David Ludwig is acutely aware of the importance of legacy. Born into a long line of celebrated figures in classical music, Ludwig is just the latest member of his immediate family to attend, and then become, a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music.

His grandfather and great-grandfather stand out in history as some of the foremost performers of their time on piano and violin, respectively. But more than just fame and talent, Ludwig’s lineage instilled him with a commitment to both moral and artistic integrity.

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Creatively Speaking
12:13 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Batiashvili on Bartok's Emotional Roller Coaster

Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili

On The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert this Sunday afternoon at 1 pm, a highly acclaimed Georgian soloist performs Bela Bartók’s first Violin Concerto. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the work was written while the composer was under the spell of unrequited love.
 

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Philadelphia Music Makers
4:24 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Pianist George Fu: Head and Heart

Pianist George Fu

On Sunday, October 19th at 5 pm, Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI is hosted by Harvard- and Curtis-educated pianist George Fu.

George has never suffered from a lack of ambition. At the age of three, he was so enamored with an electric piano that he attempted to hoist it home from a yard sale by himself, prompting his parents - both scientists - to enroll him in lessons. 

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Creatively Speaking
3:47 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Play On Philly! On Film And Beyond...

The verité documentary Crescendo! The Power of Music is part of the 2014 Philadelphia Film Festival
Cinematographer Claudia Raschke

A new film debuting at the 2014 Philadelphia Film Festival documents the activities of two after-school intensive music programs for children in underserved communities - one in New York, the other in Philadelphia. WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports.

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