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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The legend of Don Juan, dating from the mid-17th century, has spawned plays, poetry, opera, and more.  Richard Strauss’s 1889 tone poem about the story launched his star in the European musical world.


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. 


This summer, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts is marking 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.

Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles is busy with leadership positions in the opera and symphonic worlds in Germany, Scotland, and America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Runnicles, who is also a regular guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra.  


Tuesday, July 12, 2016 would have been the 82nd birthday of celebrated American pianist Van Cliburn,  who died in 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Van Vliburn's 1958 win in the Soviet Union’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition was a welcome sign of warmth in the midst of Cold War tensions.

Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was so revered in his homeland that the government commissioned him to write a symphony as part of a national celebration of his 50th birthday. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on what has become one of the composer’s most famous works.


Hulton archive

After publicly resisting the growing fascism in Europe in the 1930s, Hungarian pianist and composer Bela Bartok eventually fled his homeland. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he wrote his Violin Concerto No. 2 not long before emigrating to the United States.


Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4 is not very well known in America. But it has a strong connection with The Philadelphia Orchestra, which continues to mine the richness of the work. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.


According to Middle Eastern legend, Scheherazade saved her own life by telling her husband, the Sultan,  folk tales for A Thousand and One Nights. Those stories-within a-story inspired 19th-century composer Rimsky-Korsakov to create an orchestral suite that remains one of his most popular works today.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto has never been as celebrated as his Second and Third, but as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it has all the things we love about Rachmaninoff.
 

On Sunday, July 3rd, Lang Lang performs Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI at 1 pm.

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