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

Kenneth Hutchins

Cellist Dale Henderson began performing Bach’s Cello Suites in the subways of New York City in 2010, determined to spread the wonders of Bach. Today, Henderson's project— Bach in the Subways— has grown exponentially as thousands mark Bach's birthday week with free performances in subways, and other public venues across the globe.

Mahler ends his Fourth Symphony with a song about child’s vision of heaven. Its messages about joy and music fuel the passion of one of today’s rising conducting stars. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more from Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla about Mahler, music, and life.


Credit: GDLoft

J.S. Bach wrote hundreds of sacred cantatas for voices and orchestra on liturgical texts. One season in Bach’s life reveals some of the cantatas he thought would endure through generations.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony premiered in 1808 and was praised as "one of the most important works of the time" by critic E.T.A. Hoffman. WRTI’s Susan Lewis explores why, in the more than 200 years since, the work retains its extraordinary appeal.


Bagpipes often play at police and firefighter funerals, but they also play at celebrations.  And in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes & Drums play everything from "Amazing Grace" to the Rocky theme, to music in concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra.


It was the fall of 1802 when Ludwig van Beethoven confessed his nearly fatal despair about his growing deafness, in what’s now known as his "Heiligenstadt Testament." His music then took a daring new turn. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas about Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica."

Marc Horn

Violinist Joshua Bell is in town playing Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he made his first major concert debut at the age of 14. Now, over 35 years later, he’s a celebrated soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and conductor. 

A bestiary in the Middle Ages was a book of illustrations of animals, each accompanied by a moral lesson.   Sir James MacMillan’s musical bestiary for organ and orchestra is informed by his Scottish background, different musical traditions, and a sharp sense of social satire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Join us on Friday at 12:10 pm to hear mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams, winner of Astral’s 2014 National Auditions, singing LIVE from WRTI’s Performance Studio.

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