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


In the run-up to the November elections, political ads proliferate. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at how music contributes to the message.

A New Take on Timpani

Oct 17, 2016

There aren't many concertos composed for timpani. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Maurice Wright has written a work that celebrates the instrument and its often untapped range.

Credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

You go to a concert and see a string quartet looking like most every other string quartet — until it dawns on you they’re not looking at music. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks to the Chiara String Quartet, who plays all the Bartók string quartets, and more, from memory.

What is Gypsy Jazz?

Oct 10, 2016

Rooted in African-American communities of the South, jazz became popular in Europe in the 1920s and '30s and influenced the development of other styles. WRTI's Susan Lewis has more on "Gypsy jazz."

It's not often that one harpsichord is heard in concert with orchestra, let alone two! WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords in F major, and two soloists who champion it.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) didn't play the flute, and once suggested he didn't even like it. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he went on to write music that makes the instrument sing...and dance!

A new book looks into the tunes that put the "roar" in "The Roaring Twenties." WRTI's Susan Lewis spoke with the author of Tunes of the Twenties and All That Jazz: The Stories Behind the Songs.

Mat Hennek / DG

Unlocking the secrets in music is a joyful enterprise for pianist Helene Grimaud. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Grimaud’s approach to music and life. On Sunday, October 2nd at 1 PM on WRTI, Helene Grimaud performs Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

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.

While jazz giant John Coltrane was born and raised in North Carolina, and died in New York, he spent 15 years in Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the role the city played in the career of this master sax player and composer, who would have turned 90 this month.