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 the arts and culture editor.

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. 


Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI: Jan. 25, 6 PM
2:15 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

A Visionary with a Musical Mission: Stanford Thompson

Stanford Thompson

When Stanford Thompson left Philadelphia with a degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, the talented trumpeter had a myriad of career options that could have landed him in any city in the world. Lucky for us, after a few detours, he's back here in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Creatively Speaking
12:52 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Cristian Macelaru: Standing In and Standing Out

Cristian Macelaru

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
11:32 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Fred Hersch, Senior Statesman of Jazz

Pianist Fred Hersch
David Bartolomi

Fred Hersch started life as a classical musician, until jazz found him. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports the acclaimed pianist is nominated for two Grammy awards for his latest CD.

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Philadelphia Music Makers
2:05 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The Musical Growth of Patrick Williams

Flutist Patrick Williams

Flutist Patrick Williams’ love of music started young. Classical music was omnipresent in his childhood home, with his parents encouraging him to pursue it as a career and way of life. Williams learned how to play the piano at age five, and picked up the flute and violin a couple years later. The other instrument fell to the side when Williams decided to focus all of his talent and efforts on the flute.  It worked out well. His first public performance was at the 1998 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Japan.

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Creatively Speaking
10:50 am
Mon January 12, 2015

A Philadelphia Photographer Documents A Changing City

Vincent Feldman's debut collection, "City Abandoned: Charting the Loss of Civic Institutions in Philadelphia," is published by Paul Dry Books.

Philadelphia's urban landscape is ever changing, and over time, many beautiful older structures have become disused, dilapidated, and in many cases, demolished. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, a collection of works by a preeminent Philadelphia photographer is keeping alive the memory of some of the city's architectural gems.  

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Creatively Speaking
10:44 am
Mon January 12, 2015

A Conductor Seeing Music From Both Sides

Conductor Susanna Malkki
Simon Fowler

This week's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on WRTI is led by the Finnish conductor Susanna Malkki. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from both sides of the podium.

In the mid '90s, Susanna Malkki was principal cello of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. She says that being on the other end of the baton taught her much about conducting - specifically how every gesture made by a conductor was of tantamount importance to the musicians.

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Philadelphia Music Makers
2:00 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Reese Revak: Pianist and Polymath

Pianist and composer Reese Revak

Too often, mother does know best. Pianist, composer and vocal studies accompanist Reese Revak never would have discovered his love of music were it not for his mom. A music teacher and multi-instrumentalist herself, Mrs. Revak placed her son in front of the piano at age four and made it clear that lessons would be mandatory until he arrived at high school.

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Creatively Speaking
4:54 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Jakub Hruša And The Spirit Of Czech Music

Conductor Jakub Hrusa

One of the Czech Republic's most lauded young conductors leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI this Sunday, January 11th at 1 pm. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the program includes at least one work that embodies the Czech spirit.

In his Philadelphia Orchestra debut, Prague Philharmonia Chief Conductor and Music Director Jakub Hruša brought to the podium a program bookended by composers from his homeland. One of Leoš Janáček's earliest works, Jealousy and the Symphony No. 8 of Antonín Dvorák. This was, in turn, an early work for Hruša.

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Philadelphia Music Makers, January 4 at 6 PM
12:01 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Larry McKenna: Philadelphia's Gentleman of Jazz

Larry McKenna
Melissa Gilstrap

Saxophonist player and instructor Larry McKenna has instilled his love and connection with his instrument in listeners and learners alike over the course of his multi–decade long career. Despite being the consistent recipient of praise from fans and former students alike, McKenna remains humble enough to seem vaguely bewildered when confronted with it.

This reaction may result from how naturally McKenna "clicked" with his instrument. McKenna first took an interest in the sax when he was just 14 - an age when whims tend to be as fleeting as they are intense.

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Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI, Dec. 28, 5 PM
2:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Carla Dirlikov: Mezzo-Soprano and Cultural Envoy

Mezzo-Soprano Carla Dirlikov

The title role in Bizet's Carmen is a dream role for any singer, but was particularly significant for Carla Dirlikov, who first fell in love with the opera at the age of three.

"I was mesmerized. I would watch it for hours," she says. The Mezzo-soprano has now played Carmen in more than 70 performances around the world.

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