Susan Lewis

Arts & Culture Reporter

Susan is an arts and culture reporter for WRTI. She contributes Arts Desk features, and weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast series on WRTI with host Gregg Whiteside.

She is also a freelance essayist, journalist, and speechwriter who has written about Philadelphia for Insight Guides and Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation's Culture Files.  A former columnist for Philadelphia Magazine, she is the author of Reinventing Ourselves after Motherhood and a book of essays. Her work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Child Magazine, Parents Magazine, Reader's Digest and Ladies' Home Journal (Parents Digest).

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Susan is also a lawyer, with a B.A. in Philosophy from Trinity College, Connecticut, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She has practiced law in New York City and taught entertainment law at Rutgers Law School in Camden.

Ways to Connect

NASA

Solar eclipse fever has seized America!  And whether you're watching outside with "eclipse glasses," or inside – on TV or online – WRTI is here to keep you company with great music inspired by the heavens! 

Williams James Basie, born on August 21st, 1904 in Redbank, NJ, would grow up to become jazz royalty.  Ever wonder how he got the name Count? Although there were different theories over the years, Basie himself cleared it up with the story reported in Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told by the Men who Made it (1966) by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff.

What’s it like growing up aiming for a classical concert career? WRTI’s Susan Lewis asked a young Canadian pianist Thomas Torok how he manages the music, excitement, and competition.  

Fritz Kreisler

A lesser-known fantasy by twentieth-century violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler has captured the imagination of Benjamin Beilman, a 21st-century soloist on the rise. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Credit: William P. Gottlieb

A romantic ballad launched one career, revived another, and became a beloved standard for generations of musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Thelonious Monk's " ‘Round Midnight." The work was recorded first in 1944—but not by Monk.


What are all the things you need to know if your goal is to be a concert pianist? More than 20 aspiring musicians ages 12 to 27 will travel to Philadelphia in early August from Asia, South America, Canada, and parts of the United States to find out.

In 1956, a groundbreaking performance at the Newport Jazz Festival changed the course of Duke Ellington's path in jazz. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more. 


Credit: Felix Broede

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a highly educated member of the Russian elite. But it’s his connection with folk tunes and the countryside that especially touches one of today’s young classical stars. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts has resided for over 40 years in its West Fairmount Park home. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on how this Philadelphia venue for summer music came to be.

Born in northern Italy in 1782, Niccolò Paganini became one of the greatest violin virtuosos in classical music history. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his 24 Caprices show off his extraordinary technique—and more.

Radio script:

[Music: Paganini, Caprice No. 5, Rachel Barton Pine]

Susan Lewis: Paganini kept many of his compositions for himself to perform during his lifetime. But his 24 caprices he published and dedicated to 'all the artists.' Violinist Rachel Barton Pine:

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