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 editor. And since 2003, he's been the host and producer of Creatively Speaking, WRTI's much-acclaimed Saturday morning arts and culture program.

Creatively Speaking has been the recipient of several awards and commendations including two Philadelphia A.I.R (Achievement In Radio) awards and an Excellence in Broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters.

Jim traveled to Europe in 2004, and to Asia in 2005 to report on Philadelphia Orchestra tours for WRTI. He is married to Claire and they have a daughter, Norah, born in 2006.

Jim can be heard on Saturdays from 11 to 11:30 am as host and producer of Creatively Speaking, and throughout the week for arts and culture reports.

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Creatively Speaking
11:30 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Woodmere's Annual Juried Exhibition Taps Into Regional Traditions

The Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill has an enviable collection of art in the realist tradition, from the 1800s to the present. It also has a renowned annual juried show which, this year, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, is dedicated to local, cutting-edge art.

In Front of Strangers, I Sing: The 72nd Annual Woodmere Museum Juried Exhibition curated by Dona Nelson and Rubens Genoff runs through September 1, 2013.

Hear more of Jim Cotter's interview with Woodmere Art Museum Director Bill Valerio.

Creatively Speaking
3:45 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

A Philadelphia Favorite: Composer Jennifer Higdon

Composer Jennifer Higdon with Beau.

Philadelphia’s Jennifer Higdon is among the most-frequently performed living American composers. Her works have been performed around the world and recorded on dozens of CDs. Higdon received a Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2010 for her Violin Concerto, a composition written for violinist Hilary Hahn and first performed by Hahn and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2009. 

The prolific Higdon is in the process of adding an opera to her extensive repertoire. The joint commission of The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia is based on Charles Frazier’s Civil War novel Cold Mountain. It's scheduled to open in Santa Fe in 2015, followed by an East Coast premiere at the Academy of Music in February 2016. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns considers Jennifer Higdon's early development as a composer.
Jim Cotter explores how Philadelphia has influenced Jennifer Higdon's career.

Creatively Speaking
8:31 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Marian Anderson's Philadelphia Legacy

Marian Anderson at Lincoln Memorial in 1939

Motown founder and songwriter Berry Gordy is this year’s Marian Anderson Award honoree. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the Philadelphia-born opera superstar for whom the award is named, was renowned for her humility and her humanity.

Creatively Speaking
8:23 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Philadelphia Celebrates Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly

The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia is part of worldwide celebrations of a landmark birthday for one of America’s greatest living artists. WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports.

Creatively Speaking
1:04 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Beating The Drum For Solo Percussionists

Percussionist Colin Currie

One of the most recent instrumentalists to be added to the roster of soloists in orchestral performances is the percussionist. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, it’s a role that makes unique demands.

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Creatively Speaking
1:01 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Cellist's Emerson Quartet Swan Song Opens New Musical Vistas

Cellist David Finckel

David Finckel was a member of the Emerson Quartet for over 30 years. In that time, the ensemble garnered a reputation as one of the world’s finest chamber ensembles. As the celebrated cellist leaves the group behind, WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports that it - and he - will endure.

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Creatively Speaking
9:39 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday To A Favorite Son Of Philadelphia

Pianist Andre Watts

Andre Watts is among the most popular soloists with Philadelphia Orchestra audiences. WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports that the pianist, who celebrated his 67th birthday this month, has been performing with the orchestra of his adopted hometown for almost his entire lifetime.

Listen to Jim Cotter's interview with Andre Watts.

Creatively Speaking
2:59 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Woodmere's Annual Juried Exhibition Taps Into Regional Traditions

The Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill has an enviable collection of art in the realist tradition, from the 1800s to the present. It also has a renowned annual juried show which, this year, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, is dedicated to local, cutting-edge art. In Front of Strangers, I Sing: the 72nd Annual Woodmere Museum Juried Exhibition curated by Dona Nelson  and Rubens Genoff runs through September 1, 2013.

Hear more of Jim Cotter's interview with Woodmere Art Museum Director Bill Valerio.

Creatively Speaking
8:12 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Unconventional Repertoire At Pennsylvania Ballet

Choreographer William Forsythe

Classical ballet, like its sister art form classical music, is rooted in classic, older repertoire. But as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the region's premiere ballet company is stepping away from conventional works for a season-ending program by three living choreographers who have their own distinctive takes on the intersection of contemporary and traditional ballet.

PA Ballet Artistic Director Roy Kaiser discusses the program for the end of its season with WRTI's Jim Cotter.

Pennsylvania Ballet’s season ending production Forsythe & Kylián runs Thursday through Sunday at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

Creatively Speaking
11:18 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Sondheim's Sensational Songs At The Arden

Sondheim in 1964, in rehearsal for Anyone Can Whistle

Along with jazz and motion pictures, musical theater is one of the 20th century’s great American artistic creations. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, a masterwork by one of Broadway’s master craftsman is getting a makeover in Philadelphia.

Though musical theater created outside the U.S. is often re-imported - think Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh - many of the most enduring works in the genre come from a theater artist who has been practicing his craft for longer than these two British composers have been alive. 

Stephen Sondheim first came to international attention as the lyricist for West Side Story, but it is the works he created on his own in the decades since that have endured. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, and A Little Night Music. The Arden Theatre Company closes its 25th season with Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, which runs through June 30, 2013.

Hear more of Jim’s interview with Eric Ebbenga, music director at the Arden Theatre.

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