Arts Desk

Throughout the week

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!

The great Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25th, 1917, and died in 1996. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, "The Queen of Jazz" - also called "The First Lady of Song," left a lasting legacy on American song and jazz.

Though she was blessed with impeccable intonation, a distinctive sound, and a superb sense of timing, Ella Fitzgerald was hindered in her early years by the limitations of the repertoire she sang. It took some time, determination, and visionary collaboration for Ella to find her voice.

The second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7—the Allegretto—has captivated listeners since the symphony’s 1813 premiere, when it was so popular that the orchestra used it as an encore. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on why this particular movement continues to engages us.

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd with events that bring people together to raise awareness for environmental protection. This year, take some personal time to appreciate the world we live in. Breathe in, breathe out, and find peace and tranquility listening to these five classical gems inspired by the secrets, the majesty, and the boldness of the earth.

By Office of Emergency Management [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Four Philadelphia Orchestra brass players routinely sit together in the back of the orchestra. But for a new work by Jennifer Higdon, they all move to the front of the stage—as soloists and chamber musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with the quartet and composer about the surprising sounds we don't often hear from the low brass.



Gift of Henny Durmashkin Gurko, Museum of Jewish Heritage, NY

Steak sizzling on a grill at Pat's King of Steaks. A chorus of birdsong at the Philadelphia Zoo. These are just a few of the hundreds of sounds composer Tod Machover collected from people who live here for a unique musical profile being performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra on April 5, 6, and 7 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.


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