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.

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Creatively Speaking
7:33 am
Sun February 1, 2015

How Cool Are Sax Masters Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz!

Two great sax players were born on the same day, just three years apart. On February 2nd, 1924, Sonny Stitt was born in Boston, and Stan Getz made his first appearance in Philadelphia on the same day in 1927. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, each had his own style that would influence future generations.

On Monday, February 2, 2015, WRTI's Bob Perkins celebrates these two jazz greats with a special show. 

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Creatively Speaking
12:26 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

A Difficult Competition Piece by Debussy Now a Treasure in the Repertoire

Ricardo Morales

Competitions have tested serious music students for decades. They also have prompted the composition of works that continue to enrich the repertoire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Claude Debussy’s Rhapsody No. 1 for Clarinet and Orchestra.

Radio Script:

Susan Lewis: Its ethereal quality belies its difficulty, but Debussy’s Rhapsody No. 1 for Clarinet and Piano was composed for clarinet graduation exams at the Paris Conservatory.

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Creatively Speaking
11:57 am
Mon January 19, 2015

What's the Power of Music? Ask Conductor Bramwell Tovey

Bramwell Tovey is music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Englishman Bramwell Tovey is an accomplished pianist, composer and conductor. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he’s also upbeat about the power of music to reach people of all ages. 

Radio script:

Susan Lewis: Bramwell Tovey says Beethoven speaks directly to kids.

Bramwell Tovey: Beethoven’s the rock star of classical composers.

SL: Music director of the Vancouver Symphony, Tovey is also artistic director of the symphony’s own music school.

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Creatively Speaking
12:09 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

The English Chamber Orchestra's Benefit Concert for Musicopia

Access to great music is critical in developing a love of the art form and its traditions. As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, that's a premise of a collaboration between the English Chamber Orchestra and Musicopia, an organization that brings music to young people, especially in areas without other music programs. 

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Creatively Speaking
3:47 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The Lunch That Launched Stravinsky's Famous Violin Concerto

Igor Stravinsky was reluctant to write a violin concerto...until a violinist changed his mind.

Twentieth-century composer Igor Stravinsky was at first reluctant to accept a commission for a violin concerto because he didn’t know the instrument well enough. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he changed his mind after consulting the intended violinist – who was game to try an unusual approach.  

On Sunday, January 18, 2015 on WRTI, Juliette Kang and The Philadelphia Orchestra play Stravinsky’s violin concerto in a program that also features music by Brahms and Respighi.

Radio script:

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Creatively Speaking
2:24 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

A Pianist Who Goes Way Back with The Philadelphians

Guess who? It's Andre Watts, age 10, at his student concert debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1957.
Adrian Siegel Collection The Philadelphia Orchestra Archives

Born in Germany in 1946, Andre Watts moved to Philadelphia with his Hungarian mother and American father when he was 8 years old. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, after decades of performing, the celebrated pianist still finds new inspiration and challenges in the music. 

Radio Script:

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Creatively Speaking
5:22 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

A Mobile Guide to the Music at a Philadelphia Orchestra Concert? There's an App for That!

The Philadelphia Orchestra's new LiveNote App in action!

While printed programs at classical music concerts are commonplace, The Philadelphia Orchestra continues to explore the use of mobile technology developed by Drexel University to inform the listening experience during the performance. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the LiveNote App will be used in three upcoming concerts.

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Creatively Speaking
3:07 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Have You Heard...Grassical Music?

The DePue Brothers Band plays a blend of classical, bluegrass, jazz, pop, and American roots music.

The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles - The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Philly Pops - with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

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Creatively Speaking
1:33 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Handel's Messiah: A Christmas Tradition Born in the Spring

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Handel’s Messiah, originally composed for performance during the springtime Christian observance of Lent, has become a  contemporary staple of Christmas celebrations in modern America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this 18th-century oratorio.

On Sunday, December 21, at 1 pm, WRTI will rebroadcast The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Philadelphia Singers Chorale with soloists in a 2013 performance of Handel's Messiah, at The Kimmel Center

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Creatively Speaking
6:02 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Curtis Grads Giving a Year of Service to the Philadelphia Community

The Bok Trio in a very open rehearsal at a Curtis open house. A very open rehearsal is a format that teaching artists use to let audiences into the rehearsal process. The artists use reactions from the audience to inform their interpretation of the piece.

The Franklin Project is a new, national initiative aiming to set up a year of service as a rite of passage for America’s young adults in a variety of fields. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Curtis Institute of Music joined the initiative with the launching of the first ArtistYear Fellowship Program, a pilot program with three recent graduates who dedicate a year of service to the Greater Philadelphia community - with the goal of becoming professional artist citizens.

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