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

It was a week to remember for WRTI's Susan Lewis and Meridee Duddleston! Here they reflect on the miles they walked with delegates, with protesters, with Secret Service, and even with a candidate or two, through the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia region is rich with music schools training the next generation of artists. South-African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana, a 2014 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.

What’s a spiritatorio? Composer Hannibal Lokumbe coined the term to describe his recent oratorio, which reflects on science, spirituality, and the human condition. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on One Land, One River, One People, for orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists.


Ever since supporters of George Washington changed the words of “God Save the King,” music has played a part on the American political stage. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at a sample of songs from the catchy to the corny to the cathartic. 


In 1956, a groundbreaking performance at the Newport Jazz Festival changed the course of Duke Ellington's path in jazz. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more. 


The legend of Don Juan, dating from the mid-17th century, has spawned plays, poetry, opera, and more.  Richard Strauss’s 1889 tone poem about the story launched his star in the European musical world.


This summer, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts is marking 40 years in its West Fairmount Park home. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on how this Philadelphia venue for summer music came to be.

Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles is busy with leadership positions in the opera and symphonic worlds in Germany, Scotland, and America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Runnicles, who is also a regular guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra.  


Tuesday, July 12, 2016 would have been the 82nd birthday of celebrated American pianist Van Cliburn,  who died in 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Van Cliburn's 1958 win in the Soviet Union’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition was a welcome sign of warmth in the midst of Cold War tensions.

Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was so revered in his homeland that the government commissioned him to write a symphony as part of a national celebration of his 50th birthday. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on what has become one of the composer’s most famous works.


Pages