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.

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WRTI Arts Desk
5:36 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Pop Culture's Influence on Composer Michael Daugherty

Composer Michael Daugherty

Classical composer Michael Daugherty writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.

Radio script:

MUSIC: Metropolis

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:50 am
Mon May 25, 2015

A Tuba Concerto About The Mississippi River? Michael Daugherty's Composition Defies Expectations

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Tuba Carol Jantsch, conductor Giandrea Noseda, and composer Michael Daugherty at a March, 2015 rehearsal with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

There are very few tuba concertos in the classical repertoire - Ralph Vaughn Williams' 1954 work is among a handful. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a new addition explores the largely untapped lyricism of the instrument.   

Carol Jantsch and The Philadelphia Orchestra perform Michael Daugherty's Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra, Reflections on the Mississippi, on Sunday May 31st, on WRTI.

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WRTI Arts Desk
8:56 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Eschenbach Wins International Award for a Life in Music

Christoph Eschenbach

Former Philadelphia Orchestra music director Christoph Eschenbach has been awarded The Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for a life in the service of music.
 

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WRTI Arts Desk
8:43 am
Mon May 18, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra's Tribute to the Late Conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos

Spanish conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos (1933-2013)

Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, who passed away in June, 2014, had a longtime relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphians performed a concert dedicated to his memory last February, led by someone for whom the late conductor was a mentor.  WRTI will broadcast that concert on Sunday, May 24th, 2015.

Susan Lewis: In late 2013, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos conducted two weeks of concerts that marked his 150th performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and expressed his joy in making music with this ensemble.

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WRTI Arts Desk
2:17 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Jennifer Higdon's Upbeat and Celebratory Viola Concerto

Composer Jennifer Higdon

Pulitzer- and Grammy-award winning composer Jennifer Higdon has written for many different instruments, and now has a new concerto for viola. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, with each composition, she explores new musical territory.

Susan Lewis: Jennifer Higdon wrote her Violin Concerto for Hillary Hahn, and a Blue Grass concerto for the musicians of Time for Three – one right after the other. Just one example of how varied her work is.

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WRTI Arts Desk
1:30 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Pianist Orli Shaham: Passionate about the Music and Influence of Johannes Brahms

Pianist Orli Shaham

What inspired composer and pianist Johannes Brahms to write great music? And was he preserving the past, or making way for the future?  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, pianist Orli Shaham has been exploring these questions, showcasing music by Brahms and composers who came before and after. 

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:24 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

2015 GRAMMY Winner Jason Vieaux: Collaborating with Other Instrumentalists to Create Something New

Jason Vieaux at WRTI, April, 2015

He won the 2015 GRAMMY for "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" for his album, Play, and he collaborates with musicians in a wide variety of styles. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on classical guitar virtuoso Jason Vieaux.

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Susan Lewis: Jason Vieaux’s Grammy-winning album, Play, showcases his solo work with music from Europe, Africa, Cuba, South America and Mexico – as well as his own arrangement of a Duke Ellington tune.

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:07 am
Mon May 4, 2015

The Rising Star of Violinist Benjamin Beilman

Violinist Benjamin Beilman

American violinist Benjamin Beilman is making his mark in recitals and as soloist in orchestral programs, both at home and abroad. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the 25-year-old Curtis graduate enthusiastically embraces a wide range of music. Beilman performs Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI, Sunday, May 10 at 1 pm.

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WRTI Arts Desk
8:46 am
Mon April 27, 2015

The Intersection of Jazz and 'The Great American Songbook'

Richard Rodgers (left) with Lorenz Hart in 1936

The songs, or standards, known to us today as "The Great American Songbook" flourished from the mid 1920s to about 1950. Singer Carmen McRae popularized the term with her 1972 album, The Great American Songbook. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a new book on the subject shines light on the role of jazz in the rise, fall, and rebirth of these great American songs.

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:07 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Duke Ellington: The Influential, Elegant Genius

Duke Ellington (1899-1974)

Duke Ellington wrote and performed hundreds of musical works, and changed the way people thought about jazz. And, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his contributions went beyond the music.

Terry Teachout's Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington is published by Gotham Books.

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