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

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.

It’s Jazz Appreciation Month and WRTI is celebrating the local and national jazz greats who have shaped the music we enjoy today. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Philadelphia bassist Warren Oree, who’s passionate about the power of jazz to connect musical styles and lives.


 

In 1930, The Philadelphia Orchestra gave a successful U.S. premiere of the 10th symphony of a revered Russian composer — Nikolai Miaskovsky — sometimes called "The Father of the Soviet Symphony." As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work and the composer, both little known in America in today, are being championed by one of today's leading conductors.

How do music and movement relate in contemporary ballet? Music can be composed for dance moves,  dance can be created for music, and sometimes they’re created independently – coming together on the stage. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more. 


Pioneering bassist and composer Jymie Merritt was born in Philadelphia in 1926. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he made a name for himself nationally but also founded a groundbreaking Philadelphia-based band that continues to inspire today’s generation of jazz artists.

NPR’s Jazz Night in America honored Jymie Merritt with a special concert this past January at World Cafe Live. The concert will air on WRTI, Sunday, April 10th at 8 pm. Watch video here!

A young conductor, trained in both his native Colombia and Vienna, now leads orchestras on two continents. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, culture, intellect and passion are all part of his approach to music.

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI on Sunday, April 10th at 1 pm to hear Andres Orozco-Estrada lead the Orchestra in a program featuring the music of Barber, Brahms, and Dvorak.  The concert was recorded live at Verizon Hall this past February. The broadcast can be heard on 90.1 FM in Philadelphia and streaming online at WRTI.org.

It's Jazz Appreciation Month, and WRTI is celebrating the local and national jazz greats who have shaped the music we enjoy today. WRTI's Susan Lewis looks at bandleader, composer and pianist Duke Ellington, who wrote over 1700 songs, as well as longer orchestral suites and film scores.

Courtesy of Willard Gallery Archives

Norman Lewis (1909 - 1979), a Harlem-born, African-American artist whose work spanned different styles and a range of subjects - including nature, the city, music, and civil rights - achieved some significant recognition during his lifetime, but he's never been the subject of a comprehensive museum retrospective...until now.


J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is a monumental oratorio that fell into obscurity for decades after Bach's death in 1750. Composer Felix Mendelssohn's production of the work in 1829 helped spark the modern Bach revival. Susan Lewis considers Bach’s life and work.

J.S. Bach was born more than three centuries ago, yet contemporary musicians continue to mine riches from his music. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, award-winning violinist Gil Shaham finds Bach connections in everything he plays.

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