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
12:24 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The American Pianist Who Rocked Russia for Decades

Van Cliburn in a ticker-tape parade in 1958 after winning the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. He's the only musician to ever receive a ticker-tape parade tribute in New York City.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 would have been the 80th birthday of celebrated American pianist Van Cliburn,  who died in 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his 1958 win in the Soviet Union’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition was a welcome sign of warmth in the midst of Cold War tensions.

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Revisiting Beethoven's Symphonies with Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Marco Borggreve

The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a two-year cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, although known to generations of music lovers, these great works continue to provide insights into Western musical heritage.

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Creatively Speaking
10:54 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Frank Gehry's Plan for the Transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Iconic Building

In architect Frank Gehry's master plan, the heart of the Museum will be opened up, creating a clear sight line through the ground-floor and first-floor galleries that will greatly simplify wayfinding.

After more than a decade of planning, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is unveiling a blueprint for a major, multi-phase renovation and expansion designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the transformation of the iconic structure will be nearly invisible from the outside. 

Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art opens July 1st and runs through September 1st.

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Creatively Speaking
7:12 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Renaissance Man, Pianist Stephen Hough, Explores "The Night" in His New CD

Once named by The Economist magazine as one  of the world’s 20 living polymaths, pianist Stephen Hough pursues a variety of  interests, from music to poetry to painting. In 2001 he became the first classical music performer to win the prestigious MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this versatile artist, and his most recent CD.

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Creatively Speaking
12:21 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

A Master Percussionist Nurturing the Next Generation

Percussionist Alan Abel

This week, percussion students from the U.S. and countries as far away as Argentina and Asia are gathering at Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance for a seminar led by a former Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist.  As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, Alan Abel continues year round to share his talents as a musician and craftsman.

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Very Political Ludwig van Beethoven

The second movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 is "kind of a march," says Christoph von Dohnanyi, "in respect for all the victims who suffered by Napoleon's attacks."

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote his seventh symphony in the midst of Napoleon’s attempts to conquer Europe. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work, and its second movement in particular, is a tribute to freedom. Here, the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta, performs:

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Creatively Speaking
12:56 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Great Composers Memorialized in Fairmount Park

Bust of Franz Schubert by Henry Baerer, 1891 in West Fairmount Park, east of Horticultural Hall. Bronze sculpture with limestone base and granite with bronze plaque.

Among the hundreds of outdoor sculptures that dot Philadelphia’s urban landscape are three classical music masters. But they're not where you might expect to find them.

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Creatively Speaking
12:28 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Written in Secret Musical Codes: Shostakovich's 10th Symphony

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975)

Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who had been in and out of favor with Soviet authorities for decades, wrote his 10th symphony in 1953 - the year Stalin died. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work is both political and personal, with parts written in musical code.

On Sunday, June 8, 2014, on WRTI, Stephane Deneve leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of Shostakovich's 10th Symphony and Beethoven's Violin Concerto.

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Creatively Speaking
12:48 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

A New Principal Guest Conductor for The Philadelphia Orchestra

As Principal Guest Conductor, Stephane Deneve will be part of the creative planning process, and lead several subscription weeks, family programs, and summer concerts in Vail and Saratoga.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has named a Principal Guest Conductor for a three-year term beginning this fall. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the appointment of the internationally known conductor Stephane Deneve, who has been a frequent guest since making his debut with the Orchestra in 2007.

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Creatively Speaking
7:42 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Pennsylvania Ballet: Carrying Tradition Forward

Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancers Julie Diana and Zachary Hench in AFTER THE RAIN
Alexander Iziliaev

Pennsylvania Ballet, this week, performs the penultimate program of its 50th-anniversary year. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the season reflects a philosophy that encourages innovation while building on tradition and the specific talents of the company.

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