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

There’s some great classical music not often played at adult concert series. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor points to several under-performed masterworks that speak to everyone.

The Yellow River Piano Concerto, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra during its historic trip to China in 1973, has become a part of the Western symphonic repertoire since its premiere in 1969 during China's Cultural Revolution. What is less well known in this country is the story of the cantata that led to the concerto.

Symphony in C’s new music director grew up in Bulgaria, studied in Paris, and has lived on both coasts of the U.S. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he brings enthusiasm and a wealth of experience learning from some of today’s most masterful conductors.

Listen to a broadcast of Stilian Kirov leading Symphony in C on WRTI: Sunday October 4th at 3 pm, in a program featuring music by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, as well as a new work by Patrick O’Malley, the 2015 Winner of the Symphony’s Young Composers' Competition. Alexander Kobrin, pianist.

Clapping, snapping, and tapping one’s body can teach rhythm and enliven a musical performance. And, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, body percussion is also being used to make people feel better.

J. Ho / Visit Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Orchestra performs for Pope Francis this weekend on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway: at a concert on Saturday, and during a celebration of Mass on Sunday afternoon. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the Orchestra’s role in the World Meeting of Families. 

Today, a symphony orchestra is most often - but not always - led by a conductor.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in some cases, the concertmaster may lead the group – but not from the conductor’s podium.

The Grand Court Wanamaker symphonic organ pairs with a lesser-known member of the brass family to provide an engaging new take on old favorites of opera and classical repertoire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the pioneering sound.

Dmitri Shostakovich, known for many dramatic works composed in the shadow of Stalin, showed a different side - one filled with humor and family ties - in his Piano Concerto No. 2.

Listen to WRTI on Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 1 pm as Kirill Gerstein performs Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Details here.

The Philadelphia Opera Collective continues its mission to make opera accessible. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the way the five-year-old collective is promoting the art form by staging new works in intimate settings with a small ensemble telling compelling stories.

Jump the Moon, part of the 2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, opens September 16th and runs through September 20th at the Adrienne Theater's SkyBox in Center City, Philadelphia. 

Sim Canetty-Clarke

A contemporary concerto by English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage explores the vast range of musical ideas a piano can express. WRTI’s Susan Lewis spoke with pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, the soloist who premiered it, and who performs it again on Sunday, September 6th at 1 pm on WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts. Also on the program is music by Rachmaninoff.