Arts Desk

Listen to WRTI's Arts Desk features for a daily look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Listen to brief features throughout the day!

When it's time to celebrate, no music expresses the joy of life like klezmer. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder takes us into klezmer's rich world and heritage. A Happy and Healthy New Year to all of our listeners celebrating the Jewish High Holidays!

Opera Philadelphia/Dominic M. Mercier

In a new opera, We Shall Not Be Moved, five teens find shelter in a condemned house in West Philadelphia, inhabited by ghosts recalling five children killed in 1985 when police bombed the headquarters of the black liberation group, MOVE. WRTI’s Susan Lewis spoke with the composer, whose work explores issues of racial and social injustice today. The opera is part of Opera Philadelphia's O17 Festival.

Johannes Brahms' last work was composed for an instrument he’d not written for in decades, in a style that harkened back to J.S. Bach. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Brahms' chorale preludes for organ.

A New Mural Rising to Honor John Coltrane

Sep 12, 2017

A 12-year-old mural of John Coltrane near his North Philadelphia house was destroyed in 2014 to make way for real estate development. WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on a new mural now rising just blocks away, restoring the jazz giant to his old neighborhood.

Jessica Griffin

Early solo viola repertoire was often played by violinists who also played the viola. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, that music today puts violists in the spotlight, including Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Violist Choong-Jin (C.J.) Chang.

The documentary film The Music of Strangers, and a companion CD, Sing Me Home—from Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble— both snared 2017 Grammy nominations, and a Grammy win for the CD for Best World Music Album. WRTI's Susan Lewis has the story on the Silk Road Ensemble, a group that seeks connections across cultures.
 


Todd Rosenberg for the Kennedy Center

What does it take to write an opera about a man who changed the world? It takes a composer like Mason Bates, known as a master of computer-generated music who integrates the sounds of technology with the beauty of acoustic instruments.

A Philadelphia Orchestra musician has gained a national audience for a hobby that’s not based on sound. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston has more.


Credit: Rob Shanahan

The trumpet was the instrument of kings, in court and on the battlefield. Today the orchestral trumpet is an instrument for virtuosos, and used for a variety of purposes. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Andrew Wyeth. Christina's World. 1948. Tempera on panel, 32 1/4 x 47 3/4" (81.9 x 121.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

One of the Philadelphia region's most celebrated painters was born in 1917 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his work has also inspired music by one of the region’s most well-known contemporary composers.

Pages