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
9:03 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

The Beloved Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song

Ella Fitzgerald recorded more than 200 albums in her lifetime.

The great Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25th, 1917, and died in 1996; she would have turned 98 next week. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, "The Queen of Jazz" - also called "The First Lady of Song," left a lasting legacy on American song and jazz.

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Creatively Speaking
8:44 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Taking Jazz to Spiritual Settings

The Jazz Sanctuary at Gloria Dei Church in South Philly.

The Jazz Sanctuary is an organization that takes jazz into houses of worship and other nontraditional venues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, founder Alan Segal says jazz and the spiritual community drove his recovery from a life-threatening crisis.

The Jazz Sanctuary presents concerts open to the public at houses of worship and other non-profit venues. Information about upcoming concerts.

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Creatively Speaking
9:45 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

A Jam-Packed Jazz Celebration in Center City

This year's Center City Jazz Festival takes place at Chris' Jazz Cafe, Fergie's Pub, Milkboy Philadelphia, and TIME Restaurant.

The third annual Center City Jazz Festival is coming up on Saturday, April 19th  There are 16 bands performing in a six-hour period, in four venues in downtown Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

The festival warms up on Friday, April 11th at Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Creatively Speaking
3:27 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Poulenc's Aubade: A Still-Unique Choreographic Concerto

French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

In 1929, an unusual work by a versatile 20th-century French composer premiered at the home of his wealthy patrons. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this piece, still unique in the classical repertoire, is part piano concerto and part ballet, in a chamber music setting.

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Creatively Speaking
8:03 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Vladimir Jurowski's Fascinating Family Connection With Rachmaninoff's Songs

Conductor Vladimir Jurowski takes a journey into his family's past when he conducts Rachmaninoff's songs.

WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on Sunday, April 6 at 1 pm features several works of a celebrated Russian composer, conductor and pianist who had a close relationship with the ensemble. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the concert will be led by someone with connections of his own to the music and the man.

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Creatively Speaking
6:04 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Remembering The Sensational Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday (1915-1959) - Nicknamed "Lady Day" by saxophonist Lester Young

Jazz great Billie Holiday, who died at age 44 in 1959, would have turned 99 on April 7, 2014. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in her short career, this Philadelphia-born singer made a huge impact on jazz and American song.

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Creatively Speaking
2:10 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Mstislav Rostropovich's Modern Torchbearer: Cellist Johannes Moser

Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007)

This week marks the birth of the celebrated 20th-century Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, one of his recordings with Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra motivated one of today’s leading concert soloists, Johannes Moser, to pursue his career. 

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Creatively Speaking
11:50 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Performing The Majestic Music of J.S. Bach: A Modern Yet Historical Approach

Conductor Vladimir Jurowski leads The Philadelphians in works by J.S. Bach, Mahler, and R. Strauss on WRTI, March 30 at 1 pm.

J.S. Bach’s 329th birthday is Monday, March 31st. In recent years, the iconic composer’s music has been embraced by period performers, and played less frequently by big symphony orchestras. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra takes a very modern - yet historical - approach to his music in WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on Sunday, March 30th at 1 pm.

The broadcast also features Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and music of Strauss and Mahler.

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Creatively Speaking
9:00 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Tan Dun: Building on Bela Bartok's Legacy

Chinese contemporary classical composer and conductor, Tan Dun

Hungarian pianist and composer Bela Bartok was born on March 25th in the year 1881. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he is revered by a prominent contemporary composer who is building on Bartok’s legacy.

Tan Dun's Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women was premiered in the U.S. by The Philadelphia Orchestra this season, and broadcast on WRTI in December, 2013.

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon March 17, 2014

The Genius of Coltrane: Player and Composer

John Coltrane (1926-1967)

Born in North Carolina in 1926, saxophone player and composer John Coltrane spent over a decade in Philadelphia and then moved to New York. WRTI's Susan Lewis considers the impact of Coltrane, who expanded the boundaries of jazz with a wide range of styles. 

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