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!

Marc Horn

Violinist Joshua Bell is in town playing Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he made his first major concert debut at the age of 14. Now, over 35 years later, he’s a celebrated soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and conductor. 

A bestiary in the Middle Ages was a book of illustrations of animals, each accompanied by a moral lesson.   Sir James MacMillan’s musical bestiary for organ and orchestra is informed by his Scottish background, different musical traditions, and a sharp sense of social satire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Born in New York City to Jewish-German immigrants, Lorenz Hart penned some of Broadway’s most haunting, sophisticated lyrics. He began collaborating with composer Richard Rodgers when he was 24 and Rodgers 17.

This Sunday at 1 pm, listen to Joshua Bell play Bernstein in a 2013 broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it was part of a celebration of the Renaissance man who influenced so many, including Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Samuel Jones, an award-winning composer whose works are performed by major orchestras and choral groups around the United States, recently visited Philadelphia for the premiere of his flute concerto by The Philadelphia Orchestra. It brought back strong memories of how Eugene Ormandy mentored him long ago. 

When music’s biggest night blasted off Sunday afternoon in The Theater at Madison Square Garden, home— for some contenders—was just a short train ride away. Here are the Philadelphians who won Grammys, and the Philadelphia-based talents who helped the winners along.

An instrument dating from ancient times, the flute turned out to be the ideal voice to express what was in the heart and mind of composer Samuel Jones. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on his Flute Concerto, premiered this season by The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Grammy Awards were handed out Sunday at Madison Square Garden, and Philadelphia artists cleaned up! Here’s a rundown of this year’s best recordings in classical music, jazz, and more. 

Two composers—working centuries apart—come together in Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis has the story about what became one of Vaughn Williams' most successful orchestral works.

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