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
10:23 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Have You Ever Bumped Into Franz Schubert, Joseph Haydn, or Giuseppe Verdi in Fairmount Park?

Bust of Franz Schubert by Henry Baerer, 1891 in West Fairmount Park, east of Horticultural Hall. Bronze sculpture with limestone base and granite with bronze plaque.

Among the hundreds of outdoor sculptures that dot Philadelphia’s urban landscape are three classical music masters. But they're not where you might expect to find them.

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:30 am
Fri July 3, 2015

What's Close to Sarah Chang's Heart?

Violinist Sarah Chang
Cliff Waatt

At the age of 8, violinist Sarah Chang was featured as soloist with the New York Philharmonic. Soon afterwards, she played with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Today, she has a full career playing with orchestras all over the world. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles this busy artist, who still calls the Philadelphia area home.

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Arts Desk
5:30 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Jazz in a Historic Philadelphia Neighborhood: Sol Unlimited Summer Concert Series

This summer's Sol Unlimited Concert Series is on Tuesday nights at the Morris Estates Cultural Center in West Oak Lane

A summer jazz series is once again showcasing music in a historic neighborhood setting. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the annual series presented by Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts.

Susan Lewis: The idea behind a family-friendly jazz series started with Sol Unlimited’s driving force, singer-songwriter Serena Sol Brown, who studied piano and experienced jazz at an early age.

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:03 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Close Encounters of the Concert Kind

Stéphane Denève

When can music composed for a film stand on its own? WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on how John Williams’ suite from Close Encounters of the Third Kind translates to the concert stage.

On WRTI Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 1 pm, Stéphane Denève conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in a program featuring excerpts of the music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as music by Lindberg and Prokofiev.

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:57 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Peter Richard Conte: Performing Orchestral Works With Two Hands and Two Feet

Wanamaker Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte

The symphonic organ had its heyday in the first half of the 20th century, when organists transcribed and played works written for orchestra. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, that practice is now coming back into musical fashion.

Radio script:

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:03 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Animals in Classical Music? It's Not Just for Kids!

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.

Radio script:

Music: Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:07 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Carrot Revolution: A Fresh Look at the String Quartet

Composer Gabriella Smith says that 'Carrot Revolution' takes its name from a quote attributed to Cezanne in a novel by Emile Zola, which states: “The day will come when a freshly observed carrot will start a revolution.”

Music intersects with visual art in a new string quartet. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work is a musical reaction to the unconventional way that paintings, furniture, metalwork and other objects are displayed at the Barnes Foundation.

Radio script:

Music: Carrot Revolution

Susan Lewis: The beginning of the string quartet called Carrot Revolution is quite percussive - with sounds you don’t think of as coming from violins, viola, and cello.

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WRTI Arts Desk
4:29 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

The Pines of Rome: A Musical Portrait

Born in Bologna in 1879, Italian violinist, violist, conductor and composer Ottorino Respighi moved to Rome in 1913.  He became internationally recognized for his trilogy of symphonic poems celebrating the  fountains, pines, and festivals of the city.

WRTI's Susan Lewis considers The Pines of Rome, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. She spoke with organist Michael Stairs and Associate Principal Clarinet Samuel Caviezel. 

WRTI Arts Desk
2:27 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Music is Ringing Out This Summer!

Carillon concerts are scheduled throughout our region over the summer. Look at the bottom of the post for concert listings!

One of the largest musical instruments is also among the most public. WRTI’s Susan Lewis considers carillons and their bells, which are ringing out in summer concert series all over the greater Philadelphia region.   

Radio Script:

Susan Lewis: A carillon is a set of large cast bronze bells suspended on a frame, usually at the top of a tall partially enclosed tower. 

Janet Tebbel: I love being up here because of all these big bells.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:47 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

Why Play The Viola? The Philadelphia Orchestra's CJ Chang Has The Answer

Philadelphia Principal Violist CJ Chang

Larger than a violin, but smaller than a cello, the viola sits in the middle of the orchestra, providing a critical inner voice to orchestral works. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles The Philadelphia’s Orchestra's principal violist, who on this Sunday's concert broadcast on WRTI at 1 pm, steps out in front as soloist.

Radio Script:

MUSIC: The Philadelphia Orchestra playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

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