Creatively Speaking

Throughout the week

Creatively Speaking is WRTI's weekly look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Meet the people behind the footlights and the artists in the spotlight, as Jim Cotter and company introduce you to those who make the performing and visual arts come alive in our region. Listen to six Creatively Speaking features each week.

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Creatively Speaking
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

David Kim on Tchaikovsky

David Kim
Ryan Donnell

In the 1870’s,  Tchaikovsky composed such large scale works as  Swan Lake,  Symphonies 2, 3, and 4,  and Variations on a Roccoco Theme.  But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in the same years, he was also writing short orchestral pieces, with emotional power and technical virtuosity. She discusses two of these pieces, Serenade Melancolique and Valse-Scherzo, with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster, David Kim.  

Music From the Inside Out: The Story of David Kim

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

How a Russian-Born Philadelphian Helped Give New Life to a Song Van Cliburn Loved

Van Cliburn loved the Russian folk song, "Ducks are Flying," and asked for it to be performed at his funeral service. But no one in Texas could find the song.

When American pianist Van Cliburn died in 2013, funeral organizers in Texas couldn’t locate an obscure piece of music he’d requested for the service. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, thanks to a Philadelphia connection, the Russian folk song was found, and is now enjoying new life in America.

Here are several ensembles presenting the Russian folk song performed at Van Cliburn's funeral service.

The Voronezh State Folk Choir (Russian)

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Jazz Is...Charlie Rice

Jazz drummer Charlie Rice

Steady work is a coveted and rare prize among many jazz musicians. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston visits a force in the local jazz scene who never had a problem getting gigs. Recognized by Mayor Michael Nutter for his enduring contribution to the city’s jazz scene,  jazz drummer Charlie Rice has been keeping the beat for more than 70 years and counting.

Information about Jazz Bridge concerts at Collingswood Community Center

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Creatively Speaking
1:38 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

The Strauss Oboe Concerto and Its Philadelphia Connection

Oboist Richard Woodhams

This Sunday’s re-broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert, on July 20th at 1 pm, features a celebrated oboe concerto by Richard Strauss. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the 1945 work has a Philadelphia connection.

The concert features Mahler's 4th Symphony, Britten's Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell, and the Strauss Oboe Concerto with soloist Richard Woodhams.

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Creatively Speaking
12:25 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

How a Mentor Inspired A Life In Music: Blanche Burton-Lyles Keeps Marian Anderson’s Memory Alive

Pianist Blanche Burton-Lyles, the first African American woman to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, was mentored by Marian Anderson.
Jessica Kourkounis

A classical pianist considered Marian Anderson’s protégé was the beneficiary of the opera star’s generous encouragement and wisdom.  As a child, Blanche Burton-Lyles lived in South Philadelphia near the home that Marian Anderson called her "dream home."  Anderson knew Blanche’s parents, and would invite the young prodigy to her home to play the living-room piano. It was a life-long relationship. And even in her later years, Burton-Lyles and Anderson kept up through letters after Anderson moved to the West Coast. 

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Creatively Speaking
1:36 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

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 Philadelphia neighborhood. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it’s the second season for the concerts, presented by Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts.

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Creatively Speaking
12:24 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The American Pianist Who Rocked Russia for Decades

Van Cliburn in a ticker-tape parade in 1958 after winning the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. He's the only musician to ever receive a ticker-tape parade tribute in New York City.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 would have been the 80th birthday of celebrated American pianist Van Cliburn,  who died in 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his 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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Creatively Speaking
12:05 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Yannick Conducts His Alma Mater Choir...and The Philadelphia Orchestra!

Westminster Symphonic Choir

Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey is an epicenter for excellence in choral music. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, one of Westminster’s choirs can be heard on WRTI on Sunday, July 13 at 1 pm, conducted by a now very well-known alum of the school.

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Creatively Speaking
11:40 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Listening to Missa Solemnis in Canterbury Cathedral

Great monuments aren’t always great concert halls. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns recently visited the 11th-century Canterbury Cathedral in England, and came to learn a new way of listening.  

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Revisiting Beethoven's Symphonies with Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Marco Borggreve

The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a two-year cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, although known to generations of music lovers, these great works continue to provide insights into Western musical heritage.

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