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

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.

This Sunday at 1 pm, listen to Joshua Bell play Bernstein in a 2013 broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it was part of a celebration of the Renaissance man who influenced so many, including Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Samuel Jones, an award-winning composer whose works are performed by major orchestras and choral groups around the United States, recently visited Philadelphia for the premiere of his flute concerto by The Philadelphia Orchestra. It brought back strong memories of how Eugene Ormandy mentored him long ago. 

An instrument dating from ancient times, the flute turned out to be the ideal voice to express what was in the heart and mind of composer Samuel Jones. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on his Flute Concerto, premiered this season by The Philadelphia Orchestra.

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