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
12:13 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Stephen Fry: 21st-Century British Renaissance Man

Actor, director, producer, novelist, journalist, comedian, broadcaster, technology maven - Stephen Fry has been an international success wearing all of these hats, and more! He's also penned the book for a hugely successful musical, and co-written an authoritative book on the history of classical music. He's the quintessential modern polymath. 

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WRTI Spotlight
11:50 am
Wed April 10, 2013

The Crossing Performs Thomas Lloyd's "Bonhoeffer" on WRTI

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Listen on Sunday, April 14th, 4 to 6 pm, as The Crossing chamber choir sings the broadcast premiere of Thomas Lloyd's concert-length work, Bonhoeffer. The concert was recorded at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral this past March.

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Creatively Speaking
6:09 am
Mon April 8, 2013

To Philadelphia, From Amsterdam, Via Dallas

Maestro Jaap van Zweden

A Dutch-born conductor, who walked away from a pre-eminent position in his homeland to find success abroad, conducts in Philadelphia this week. WRTI’s Jim Cotter says the former instrumentalist made the move against the advice of his compatriots but with the encouragement of a classical-music legend. Information about the concert here.

Jaap Van Sweden; The Man and the Music (Part 1)

Jaap Van Sweden; The Man and the Music (Part 2)

Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Renowned Swedish-Born Artist Honored

Sculptor Claes Oldenburg

In 1638, decades before William Penn and his fellow Quakers arrived in Pennsylvania, a small group of Swedish settlers founded the “New Sweden Colony” along the banks of the Delaware River.

Today, traces of Philadelphia’s Swedish heritage are easy to find. For instance, take the city’s flag, which, with its three vertical stripes of blue, gold and blue, strongly resembles Sweden’s national flag. 

Swedish and Swedish-American cultural, heritage and traditions are preserved and promoted by the American Swedish Historical Museum in South Philadelphia. And as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the museum is honoring a well-known living Swedish-American artist with strong ties to Philadelphia.

Listen to Jim Cotter's archive interview with artist Claes Oldenburg.

Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Wolfie, Meet Ludwig!

Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder

Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder with WRTI's Jim Cotter.

On this Sunday's Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast, a pianist - world renowned for his interpretations of the music of Beethoven - performs a Mozart piano concerto. Surprisingly, it contains music by both great composers, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports.

You can hear Rudolf Buchbinder perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 with The Philadelphia Orchestra on-air and online on WRTI.org at 2 pm on Sunday, April 7th.

Rudolf Buchbinder conducting Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 from the keyboard with the Vienna Philharmonic:

Creatively Speaking
12:28 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Bring Me The Heads Of The Orchestra And The Opera!

(left to right) David Devan, general director/president of Opera Philadelphia; Richard Worley, Phila. Orch. chairman; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Phila. Orch. music director; Allison Vulgamore, Phila. Orch. CEO & president; Opera Phila. Chairman Daniel Meyer
Tom Mihalek

Even before The Philadelphia Orchestra's new music director took up his post, he'd begun reaching out to other arts organizations. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the Orchestra is now set to present an ambitious co-production of a Richard Strauss masterpiece with Opera Philadelphia.

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Where Music Lives
7:18 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Preparing The Chorus For A Master Work

Music lives at Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the college's Westminster Symphonic Choir has, for almost 90 years, been performing with the world's foremost orchestras under some legendary conductors, including Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Pierre Boulez, Robert Shaw, Kurt Masur and on and on.

Joe Miller is professor of conducting and chair of conducting for organ and sacred music at Westminster Choir College. This week, his Westminster Symphonic Choir performs Bach’s St Mathew Passion with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nezet-Seguin, a Westminster Alum.

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Creatively Speaking
9:25 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Temple Dance Creates New Multimedia Work

Temple University's Dance Department has commissioned a new work to be performed by world-renowned, Philadelphia-based Rennie Harris Puremovement. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the piece was created for a site-specific performance beneath the mural in North Philadelphia for which it is named.

Jim Cotter speaks with the Chair of Temple's Dance Department Sherril Dodds

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Creatively Speaking
8:48 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

All About Jennifer Higdon: A Classical Composer For Philadelphia And Beyond

Composer Jennifer Higdon with Beau.

This month, WRTI is showcasing the works of various women composers. WRTI's Meridee Duddleston looks at a Philadelphia favorite: Jennifer Higdon.

Philadelphia’s Jennifer Higdon is among the most frequently performed living American composers. Now 50, the successful, unpretentious, and endlessly creative Higdon is adding an opera to her extensive repertoire. It’s a joint commission of The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia based on Charles Frazier’s Civil War novel Cold Mountain. Higdon’s family moved from Atlanta to east Tennessee when she was an adolescent– about 40 miles, she says, as the crow flies from Cold Mountain. That geographic proximity fueled her insight into the characters she’s recasting in operatic form.

Higdon’s partner, Cheryl Lawson, runs Lawdon Press, the company that publishes and distributes Higdon’s works.  Among her most-performed compositions is blue cathedral, a tone poem she wrote after the death, from cancer, of her brother Andrew Blue Higdon. Her works have been recorded on dozens of CDs and performed around the world.  

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
8:45 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Temple University Ensemble Debuts New Work

Composer Michael Daugherty

Earlier this year the Temple University Symphony Orchestra was nominated for two Grammy awards. Now, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the ensemble is preparing to debut a newly commissioned piece by a Grammy-winning composer.

In a program that also features Samuel Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard, featuring the combined Temple choirs, and Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony, the Temple University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Luis Biava will perform the world premiere of  Reflections on the Mississippi by Michael Daugherty at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Sunday, March 24 at 4 pm. Information Here. WRTI will broadcast the concert in the near future.

Jim Cotter speaks with tubaist Carol Jansch and composer Michael Daugherty

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