Arts Desk

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DNC Delegates in Philly Talking About...Music!

Jul 26, 2016

WRTI's Susan Lewis and Meridee Duddleston were on the scene outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday talking with delegates from around the world—not about politics, but music! Where were these folks from? Cities including Cheyenne, WY, South Bend, IN, the Navajo Nation in AZ, Muskogee, OK, Wilmington, DE, and as far away as the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Saipan in the Northern Marianas.

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. 


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.


Photo by Steve Weinik / City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

A massive effort is underway to showcase Philadelphia’s vibrant and strong commitment to the arts during the Democratic National Convention. The city’s—and region's—artistic breadth and talent will be on display from noon until 6 pm each day of the convention from Monday, July 25th to Thursday, July 28th.

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.  


Angus McBean / Warner Classics

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was born in NYC in 1916. In 1926, the child prodigy made his recital debut at the Manhattan Opera House and had his first concerto performance with the San Francisco Orchestra. From 1928 until the year of his death in 1999, Menuhin had the longest-running contract in the history of the recording industry with EMI Classics, which was recently acquired by Warner Classics.

At what’s likely to be a frosty noon-time ceremony this January, one presidential candidate will be announced with a well-known march preceded by the ultimate in U.S. fanfare: not one, but four sets of drum ruffles and bugle flourishes.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is now years into his series of Mozart opera recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, the latest being The Marriage of Figaro. But with so many recordings already on the market, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks what place can this one claim.



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 Vliburn'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.

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