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
2:02 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

The Art of Creating 18th-Century Sounds on Modern Instruments

David Bilger is principal trumpet for The Philadelphia Orchestra.

On Sunday August 24, 2014, WRTI broadcasts a Philadelphia Orchestra concert featuring a Haydn symphony that was first played in 1794. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with the orchestra’s principal trumpet about using modern instruments to produce a more 18th-century sound. The program also includes Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Purcell’s Suite No. 1 from The Fairy-Queen.

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Creatively Speaking
12:51 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

The Transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Frank Gehry's Master Plan

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is now showcasing plans to update and renovate its main building. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the design is by celebrated architect Frank Gehry, for whom the project was both atypical and pre-ordained.

The exhibition Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which includes drawings and architectural models, runs through September 1, 2014.

    

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Creatively Speaking
5:44 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Musa: A Name You'll Remember...

South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana

The Philadelphia region is rich with music schools training the next generation of artists. South-African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana, a recent graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts and a 2013 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, stands out and already has a busy international performance schedule in the upcoming season.

WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks with Musa about his career thus far, and the road ahead.

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Creatively Speaking
5:41 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Backstage with Itzhak Perlman: Talking About Teaching

Violinist Itzhak Perlman

One of classical music’s superstars plays all over the world, appears on large and small screens, makes multiple recordings, and also conducts. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Itzhak Perlman is passionate about passing on music in the classroom as well. 

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Creatively Speaking
12:14 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Remembering the Great Louis Armstrong with Terry Teachout

Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)

August 4th marks the anniversary of the birth of the great trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong who died in 1971 at age 69, one month shy of his 70th birthday. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of the musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage. She speaks with Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal drama critic, playwright, and author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

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Creatively Speaking
11:57 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Classical Star Yuja Wang: Embracing Traditional and Contemporary Culture

Pianist Yuja Wang

Curtis Graduate, Chinese Pianist Yuja Wang performs all over the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the young classical star embraces traditional and contemporary culture.

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Creatively Speaking
11:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Looking at Debussy and Ravel with the Late Maestro Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos

Spanish conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, who died in June, conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra this past season. The program featured the music of two French composers who wrote and circulated in the same artistic circles in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. During Fruhbeck's visit,  WRTI's Susan Lewis talked with the Maestro about the imagery and musicality of Debussy and Ravel.

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Creatively Speaking
1:17 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Diana Glows Again at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) sculpted Diana, who sat on top of Madison Square Garden in NYC before being relocated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This photograph is from 1925.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s statue of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, was created by the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1893, for the top of Madison Square Garden - which was then on New York City's East Side. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a recent re-gilding recalls its past, but also suits its contemporary home. 

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Creatively Speaking
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

David Kim on Tchaikovsky

David Kim
Ryan Donnell

In the 1870s, Tchaikovsky composed such large scale works as Swan Lake, Symphonies 2, 3, and 4, and Variations on a Rococo Theme. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in the same years, he was also writing short orchestral pieces with emotional power and technical virtuosity. She discusses two of these pieces, Melancolique and Valse-Scherzo, with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster, David Kim.  

Music From the Inside Out: The Story of David Kim

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

How a Russian-Born Philadelphian Helped Give New Life to a Song Van Cliburn Loved

Van Cliburn loved the Russian folk song, "Ducks are Flying," and asked for it to be performed at his funeral service. But no one in Texas could find the song.

When American pianist Van Cliburn died in 2013, funeral organizers in Texas couldn’t locate an obscure piece of music he’d requested for the service. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, thanks to a Philadelphia connection, the Russian folk song was found, and is now enjoying new life in America.

Here are several ensembles presenting the Russian folk song performed at Van Cliburn's funeral service.

The Voronezh State Folk Choir (Russian)

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