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
9:42 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Rattle's Reflections on Conducting

Sir Simon Rattle

Coming up on Sunday, September 15th, WRTI's Sunday radio broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert features, on the podium, Englishman Simon Rattle, the music director of the Berlin Philharmonic.  The  internationally renowned conductor has a bond with the Philadelphians, nurtured over the last 20 years.

In the radio broadcast, Rattle leads the orchestra in a program featuring  symphonies no. 6 and 7 of  Sibelius, Norman’s Unstuck, and  Beethoven’s piano concerto No.  3 with Lang Lang as soloist.

Listen to Simon Rattle's conversation with Susan Lewis.

Creatively Speaking
9:22 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Soprano Barbara Hannigan: Interpreting Comic Contemporary Operatic Song

Barbara Hannigan is a world-renowned vocalist at home in many genres. She's known especially for her performances of contemporary music. This Sunday, WRTI’s broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra in concert, features Hannigan in what has become one of her signature works:  Ligetti's Mysteries of the Macabre. Berlin Philharmonic Music Director Simon Rattle conducts.

Soprano Barbara Hannigan speaks with Susan Lewis.

Creatively Speaking
8:49 am
Mon September 2, 2013

The Clarinet's Many Colors Painted By Ricardo Morales

The Philadelphia Orchestra's Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales

The clarinet is a versatile woodwind instrument that has evolved from its 18th-century beginnings. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, classical composers have used it to create a variety of moods.   Philadelphia Orchestra's Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales illustrates some of the different sounds the clarinet can create, including the cuckoo sound, used by Beethoven in his Symphony No. 6.

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast on WRTI on Sunday, September 8th at 2 pm to hear the Orchestra perform Beethoven's sixth symphony. Also on the program is music by Webern, Berg, and Ligeti.

An in-depth interview with Ricardo Morales.

Where Music Lives
7:41 am
Mon August 26, 2013

The Jazz Sanctuary: Bringing People Together Through Music

The Jazz Sanctuary at Gloria Dei Church in South Philly.

Music lives in South Philadelphia through The Jazz Sanctuary, an organization that takes jazz into to houses of worship and other nontraditional venues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, founder Alan Segal says jazz and the spiritual community drove his recovery from a life threatening crisis.

The Jazz Sanctuary presents concerts open to the public at houses of worship and other non-profit venues. Information about upcoming concerts.

Listen to more of Susan's interview with The Jazz Sanctuary's founder Alan Segal.

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Creatively Speaking
6:51 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Classical Stars Reach Beyond The Concert Hall

Pianist Jonathan Biss

Classical music soloists must spend a lot of time practicing their instruments. But some stars are connecting with fans in ways that reach beyond the concert hall. WRTI’s Susan Lewis spoke with pianist Jonathan Biss and violinist Hilary Hahn.

WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast on August 25th features Jonathan Biss playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 13. On September 29th, WRTI's concert broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra includes Hilary Hahn playing Korngold's Violin Concerto.

Jonathan Biss discusses his activities beyond the concert hall with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

Listen to Susan's interview with Jonathan Biss about writing and other activities beyond the concert hall.

Creatively Speaking
6:45 am
Mon August 19, 2013

1968 At The National Constitution Center

The musical Hair opened on Broadway, and 2001: A Space Odyssey was at the movies. It was also in 1968 that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, and 14,000 American military personnel died in Vietnam.

A transformative year across American culture, 1968 is explored in a new exhibition that's now on view at the National Constitution Center. The 1968 Exhibit runs through September 2nd, 2013

Listen to Susan Lewis' interview with Minnesota Historical Society's Brian Horrigan, lead curator of The 1968 Exhibit.

Creatively Speaking
6:46 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Remembering Wolfgang Sawallisch On The Podium

Wolfgang Sawallisch (1923—2013)

On this week's Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast, the Philadelphians pays special tribute to their former music director, Wolfgang Sawallisch, who died earlier this year. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he’s remembered as a master on the podium.

 

Listen to reflections about Sawallisch playing chamber music and enjoying musical jokes from Philadelphia Orchestra musicians Davyd Booth, Gloria dePasquale, and Richard Harlow.
 


Listen to reflections about Conductor Laureate Wolfgang Sawallisch on the podium in Philadelphia, and on tour, from Philadelphia Orchestra musicians Kathryn Picht Read, Jonathan Beiler, and Mark Gigliotti.

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Creatively Speaking
7:24 am
Mon August 5, 2013

The Allure of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos

J. S. Bach (1685—1750)

Today, J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are among the most popular pieces from the Baroque era. WRTI’s Susan Lewis explores the mystery in the story of the famous concertos.   

On Sunday, August 11th at 2 pm, WRTI will broadcast a recorded live concert featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra performing three of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, his Double Violin Concerto, and his Orchestral Suite No. 3.

Listen to Susan’s interview with Temple University Music Professor Steven Zohn about the mystery and ongoing appeal of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

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Creatively Speaking
1:08 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

The Birthday of Jazz Great Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)

This coming Sunday marks the anniversary of the birth of trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis  Armstrong.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of a musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage.  

Pops, A Life of Louis Armstrong, by Wall Street Journal Drama Critic Terry Teachout, was published in 2010. Teachout also wrote the play Satchmo at the Waldorf, which ran at the Wilma Theater last year.

Listen to Susan Lewis' interview with Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout

Where Music Lives
11:20 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Music Lessons On Rittenhouse Square: At Curtis And Way Beyond!

A view of Curtis from Rittenhouse Square

Music lives, as it has for decades, on Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. And now - as the Curtis Institute of Music works with a company that distributes free classes through the Internet - world-class instruction will be available throughout the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the renowned conservatory is offering two pilot classes to audiences everywhere a computer and Internet access can be found. Coursera is making this happen.

Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas launches September 3rd.  From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance, launches October 1st .

Listen to Susan's interview with pianist Jonathan Biss about his course, Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, which launches September 3, 2013.

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