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!

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WRTI Arts Desk
9:13 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

What's Close to Sarah Chang's Heart?

Violinist Sarah Chang
Cliff Waatt

At the age of 8, violinist Sarah Chang was featured as soloist with the New York Philharmonic. Soon afterwards, she played with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Today, she has a full career playing with orchestras all over the world. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles this busy artist, who still calls the Philadelphia area home.

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WRTI Spotlight
12:42 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Sarah Chang is Soloist! Sunday, July 5, 1 PM

Violinist Sarah Chang
Colin Bell

The music of Beethoven and Dvořák frame works by Gyorgy Ligeti and George Enescu - two composers very familiar to The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Conductor-in-Residence, Cristian Macelaru on WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this Sunday, July 5th at 1 pm.

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WRTI Arts Desk
1:58 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

The Berlin Philharmonic Announces Their Next Chief Conductor

Maestro Kirill Petrenko begins his tenure as chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic inn 2018.

The venerable Berlin Philharmonic isn't known for impetuous courtships. But after conducting only three programs, the darkest of horses - Kirill Petrenko - was invited last week to succeed Simon Rattle as the Orchestra's chief conductor. Can the Berlin Philharmonic survive without its usual star power? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

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Arts Desk
5:30 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Jazz in a Historic Philadelphia Neighborhood: Sol Unlimited Summer Concert Series

This summer's Sol Unlimited Concert Series is on Tuesday nights at the Morris Estates Cultural Center in West Oak Lane

A summer jazz series is once again showcasing music in a historic neighborhood setting. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the annual series presented by Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts.

Susan Lewis: The idea behind a family-friendly jazz series started with Sol Unlimited’s driving force, singer-songwriter Serena Sol Brown, who studied piano and experienced jazz at an early age.

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:53 am
Sat June 27, 2015

How Many Arms Does It Take To Conduct The Mendelssohn Club Choir?

TURBINE, for moving choir along the water, has been created for the 200th Anniversary of the Fairmount Water Works.

The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia’s season is going out, not with a bang, but with some urban rumble, random accompaniment by geese, and lots of song in a site-specific work at the Fairmount Water Works this weekend. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns caught Philadelphia’s most venerable choir at its most vulnerable.

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:57 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Peter Richard Conte: Performing Orchestral Works With Two Hands and Two Feet

Wanamaker Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte

The symphonic organ had its heyday in the first half of the 20th century, when organists transcribed and played works written for orchestra. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, that practice is now coming back into musical fashion.

Radio script:

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:03 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Animals in Classical Music? It's Not Just for Kids!

There’s some great classical music not often played at adult concert series. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor points to several under-performed masterworks that speak to everyone.

Radio script:

Music: Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:07 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Carrot Revolution: A Fresh Look at the String Quartet

Composer Gabriella Smith says that 'Carrot Revolution' takes its name from a quote attributed to Cezanne in a novel by Emile Zola, which states: “The day will come when a freshly observed carrot will start a revolution.”

Music intersects with visual art in a new string quartet. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work is a musical reaction to the unconventional way that paintings, furniture, metalwork and other objects are displayed at the Barnes Foundation.

Radio script:

Music: Carrot Revolution

Susan Lewis: The beginning of the string quartet called Carrot Revolution is quite percussive - with sounds you don’t think of as coming from violins, viola, and cello.

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:04 am
Mon June 15, 2015

The Famous Letter That Beethoven Wrote, about His Life and Art, at Age 31

Ludwig van Beethoven, overwhelmed with his loss of hearing, wrote a letter to his brothers in 1802 while resting in Heiligenstadt, Austria.

The Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter and directive written by Beethoven to his brothers in October, 1802, is an important missive, opened after the composer's death in 1827. It depicts his pain and struggle: the diminishing hope that his hearing will improve, a feeling of growing isolation, and his commitment to his art, that utlimately saves his life. By the time he wrote The Heiligenstadt Testament, the already-acclaimed composer had spent six years, starting at age 26 or 27, searching in vain for a “cure.”

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:38 am
Wed June 10, 2015

"You'll Never Walk Alone" - The Story Behind Rodgers and Hammerstein's Beloved Song of Hope

Even if you’re not familiar with the Broadway musical Carousel, you’re likely to have heard the uplifting message and melody of the song "You’ll Never Walk Alone."

Its roots in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical extend far beyond the story of love and loss. 

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