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

There’s some great classical music not often played at adult concert series. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor points to several under-performed masterworks that speak to everyone.

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Music: Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals

Music intersects with visual art in a new string quartet. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work is a musical reaction to the unconventional way that paintings, furniture, metalwork and other objects are displayed at the Barnes Foundation.

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Music: Carrot Revolution

Susan Lewis: The beginning of the string quartet called Carrot Revolution is quite percussive - with sounds you don’t think of as coming from violins, viola, and cello.

Born in Bologna in 1879, Italian violinist, violist, conductor and composer Ottorino Respighi moved to Rome in 1913.  He became internationally recognized for his trilogy of symphonic poems celebrating the  fountains, pines, and festivals of the city.

WRTI's Susan Lewis considers The Pines of Rome, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. She spoke with organist Michael Stairs and Associate Principal Clarinet Samuel Caviezel. 

One of the largest musical instruments is also among the most public. WRTI’s Susan Lewis considers carillons and their bells, which are ringing out in summer concert series all over the greater Philadelphia region.   

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Susan Lewis: A carillon is a set of large cast bronze bells suspended on a frame, usually at the top of a tall partially enclosed tower. 

Janet Tebbel: I love being up here because of all these big bells.

Larger than a violin, but smaller than a cello, the viola sits in the middle of the orchestra, providing a critical inner voice to orchestral works. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles The Philadelphia’s Orchestra's principal violist, who on this Sunday's concert broadcast on WRTI at 1 pm, steps out in front as soloist.

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MUSIC: The Philadelphia Orchestra playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

Rick Echelmeyer, photographer / The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia displays its art exactly the way it was shown in Albert C. Barnes’ mansion in Merion. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, three visual artists respond to the idiosyncratic ensembles of Impressionist masters, African art, metalwork, furniture, and more.

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Classical composer Michael Daugherty writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.

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MUSIC: Metropolis

There are very few tuba concertos in the classical repertoire - Ralph Vaughn Williams' 1954 work is among a handful. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a new addition explores the largely untapped lyricism of the instrument.   

Carol Jantsch and The Philadelphia Orchestra perform Michael Daugherty's Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra, Reflections on the Mississippi, on Sunday May 31st, on WRTI.

Former Philadelphia Orchestra music director Christoph Eschenbach has been awarded The Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for a life in the service of music.
 

Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, who passed away in June, 2014, had a longtime relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphians performed a concert dedicated to his memory last February, led by someone for whom the late conductor was a mentor.  WRTI will broadcast that concert on Sunday, May 24th, 2015.

Susan Lewis: In late 2013, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos conducted two weeks of concerts that marked his 150th performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and expressed his joy in making music with this ensemble.

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