Susan Lewis

Arts & Culture Reporter

Susan is an arts and culture reporter for WRTI. She contributes weekly features to Creatively Speaking with Jim Cotter, produces arts news, and works as a news anchor.

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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Creatively Speaking
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

David Kim on Tchaikovsky

David Kim
Ryan Donnell

In the 1870’s,  Tchaikovsky composed such large scale works as  Swan Lake,  Symphonies 2, 3, and 4,  and Variations on a Roccoco Theme.  But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in the same years, he was also writing short orchestral pieces, with emotional power and technical virtuosity. She discusses two of these pieces, Serenade Melancolique and Valse-Scherzo, with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster, David Kim.  

Music From the Inside Out: The Story of David Kim

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

How a Russian-Born Philadelphian Helped Give New Life to a Song Van Cliburn Loved

Van Cliburn loved the Russian folk song, "Ducks are Flying," and asked for it to be performed at his funeral service. But no one in Texas could find the song.

When American pianist Van Cliburn died in 2013, funeral organizers in Texas couldn’t locate an obscure piece of music he’d requested for the service. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, thanks to a Philadelphia connection, the Russian folk song was found, and is now enjoying new life in America.

Here are several ensembles presenting the Russian folk song performed at Van Cliburn's funeral service.

The Voronezh State Folk Choir (Russian)

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Creatively Speaking
1:38 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

The Strauss Oboe Concerto and Its Philadelphia Connection

Oboist Richard Woodhams

This Sunday’s re-broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert, on July 20th at 1 pm, features a celebrated oboe concerto by Richard Strauss. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the 1945 work has a Philadelphia connection.

The concert features Mahler's 4th Symphony, Britten's Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell, and the Strauss Oboe Concerto with soloist Richard Woodhams.

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Creatively Speaking
1:36 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

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 Philadelphia neighborhood. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it’s the second season for the concerts, presented by Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts.

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Creatively Speaking
12:24 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The American Pianist Who Rocked Russia for Decades

Van Cliburn in a ticker-tape parade in 1958 after winning the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. He's the only musician to ever receive a ticker-tape parade tribute in New York City.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 would have been the 80th birthday of celebrated American pianist Van Cliburn,  who died in 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his 1958 win in the Soviet Union’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition was a welcome sign of warmth in the midst of Cold War tensions.

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Revisiting Beethoven's Symphonies with Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Marco Borggreve

The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a two-year cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, although known to generations of music lovers, these great works continue to provide insights into Western musical heritage.

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Creatively Speaking.
4:35 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Losing His Head in the Opera, Salome: Bass-Baritone Alan Held

In Richard Strauss' SALOME, the character depicting John the Baptist is beheaded after he refuses the advances of Salome.

It was a Bible story, and then a French play by Oscar Wilde. Then it was translated into German, before Strauss turned it into his opera, Salome. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a production from May, 2014 continued the evolution of this complex and compelling work of art.

On Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 1 pm on WRTI, listen to a recorded broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia performing Richard Strauss' Salome.

Bass-baritone Alan Held talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis about his character, Jochanaan (John the Baptist).

Creatively Speaking
1:38 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Soprano Camilla Nylund: Singing SALOME Throughout The World

Lyric dramatic soprano Camilla Nylund, a native of Finland, singing Salome with Opera Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Orchestra in May, 2014.
Dominic Mercier

Oscar Wilde’s late 19th-century play, retelling the biblical story of Salome, became the basis for Richard Strauss' one-act opera SALOME that premiered in Dresden in 1905. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the opera continues to shock and dazzle, nearly a century later.

On Sunday, July 6 at 1 pm, WRTI broadcasts The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia in a joint production of Salome, with Camilla Nylund in the title role.

Soprano Camilla Nylund talks with WRTI' s Susan Lewis about the character Salome, which has become one of her signature roles.

Creatively Speaking
10:54 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Frank Gehry's Plan for the Transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Iconic Building

In architect Frank Gehry's master plan, the heart of the Museum will be opened up, creating a clear sight line through the ground-floor and first-floor galleries that will greatly simplify wayfinding.

After more than a decade of planning, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is unveiling a blueprint for a major, multi-phase renovation and expansion designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the transformation of the iconic structure will be nearly invisible from the outside. 

Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art opens July 1st and runs through September 1st.

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Creatively Speaking
7:12 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Renaissance Man, Pianist Stephen Hough, Explores "The Night" in His New CD

Once named by The Economist magazine as one  of the world’s 20 living polymaths, pianist Stephen Hough pursues a variety of  interests, from music to poetry to painting. In 2001 he became the first classical music performer to win the prestigious MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this versatile artist, and his most recent CD.

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