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

The first book printed in North America was a book of psalms; they were brought to life by a vocal quartet and musicology graduate student Emma Schnell Barnaby in a lunchtime performance and conversation with WRTI's Susan Lewis on Tuesday, March 20th. Check out their concert at the Rosenbach Museum and Library on April 19th at 6 pm.

By Office of Emergency Management [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Four Philadelphia Orchestra brass players routinely sit together in the back of the orchestra. But for a new work by Jennifer Higdon, they all move to the front of the stage—as soloists and chamber musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with the quartet and composer about the surprising sounds we don't often hear from the low brass.



The New York Music Co., New York, 1908, monographic. Source: Library of Congress

Fans at baseball games across America have been singing the same song during the seventh-inning stretch for decades. If you're in the stands, nothing beats the fun of belting out that tune everyone knows, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

Steak sizzling on a grill at Pat's King of Steaks. A chorus of birdsong at the Philadelphia Zoo. These are just a few of the hundreds of sounds composer Tod Machover collected from people who live here for a unique musical profile being performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra on April 5, 6, and 7 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

One of classical music’s biggest stars—violinist Joshua Bell—returns to music that touched his soul when he was very young. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it was music worth violating curfew for at summer camp.


Violist Martha Mooke has electrified audiences with her innovative performances and compositions that transcend musical genres. Listen to her perform a variety of works for electric viola live on WRTI 90.1, with host Susan Lewis.

Although Handel’s Messiah is now regularly performed during the Christmas holidays, the work was actually premiered in the spring before Easter. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the fantastically successful masterpiece, which was created by necessity in just 24 days over two centuries ago.


Every year, Philadelphia-area residents have the chance to experience, for free, the talents of exceptional young student vocalists, instrumentalists, conductors, and composers from the Curtis Institute of Music  before they take the world by musical storm.

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