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.

Composer ID: 
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Creatively Speaking
4:36 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

That Hypnotic Music from the Film, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Opening shot from the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, made famous by Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra," composed in 1896.

Think of the rising of the sun...for the first time ever. Russian Conductor Vladimir Jurowski says it's an ingenious beginning to the tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra by German composer Richard Strauss, based on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's novel of the same name. 

Music from the popular symphonic piece played a memorable role in the 1968 Hollywood film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, those famous opening bars are only the beginning of a work that continues to engage and intrigue audiences.

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Creatively Speaking
1:05 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Pushing Jazz Performance In New Directions

Philadelphia Jazz Project is promoting the Mysterious Travelers Concert Series at the Free Library. It features free monthly concerts running through April 2015. Above is drummer Wayne Smith, Jr, performing on December 8th at 7 pm.
Howard Pitkow Photography

A former WRTI host stays close to jazz with an organization designed to extend its reach. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston speaks with the founder of the Philadelphia Jazz Project.

Have popular “performance spectacles” replaced the straightforward dance between a jazz artist and an instrument? Director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Homer Jackson, is considering that question and innovative approaches to the performance of music that has often depended upon an intimate feel - and feeling.

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Tasmin Little's Big Relationship with Delius

Violinist Tasmin Little

Tasmin Little is widely considered the finest British violinist of her generation. And though her repertoire includes works by the most influential composers in history, she has made a point of specializing in the music of lesser-known composers, despite how it might impact her career.

Little was also featured in a BBC documentary that details her investigation into the personal life of Delius.

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Creatively Speaking
11:08 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Who Needs an Audience? Not the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia

Members of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia play together for the love of music.

There’s an orchestra in Philadelphia that plays music weekly with professional musicians and talented amateurs. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia - now celebrating 50 years - rarely, if ever, has an audience. 

WRTI’s Jack Moore has been principal conductor since 1997. The many guests who have led the group include musicians and assistant conductors from The Philadelphia Orchestra. Soloists have included Leila Josefowicz and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

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Creatively Speaking
8:09 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Seniors Sing Out Loud and Strong: The Benefits of Joining a Choir

Darina Petrovsky, a predoctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, has worked with older adults since she became a nurse. She also has a music background. Bringing these two areas of expertise together, Petrovsky created a small choir for older adults, organized through The Penn Memory Center. 

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Creatively Speaking
8:05 am
Mon November 24, 2014

How Often Do You Hear a Mass in Old Church Slavonic?

Leos Janecek, composer of the Glagolitic Mass, was not known to be religious, but he was an advocate for the Slavic people, language and culture.

Moravian composer Leos Janacek, who died in 1928 at the age of 74, wrote many of his most highly regarded works in the last dozen years of his life. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his monumental Mass is striking in its structure, size, rhythms, and tone, not to mention its use of an ancient text.

Mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey join The Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass on Sunday, November 30, 2014 on WRTI.

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Creatively Speaking
7:33 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Zenos Frudakis: A Philadelphia-Based Sculptor Breaking The Mold

Sculptor Zenos Frudakis with "Freedom"

It's rare for living artists to be compared to the greats. Yet a Philadelphia-based sculptor has been given such an honor. WRTI's Jim Cotter reports on the man who brought "freedom" to the world.

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Creatively Speaking
7:20 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Roberto Diaz: Once A Violist...

Violist Roberto Diaz

When Roberto Diaz graduated from being principal violist of The Philadelphia Orchestra to president of the Curtis Institute, you could easily assume that one of the city's most charismatic performers would be mostly found behind a desk. Instead, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns finds him preparing to premiere Jennifer Higdon's Viola Concerto, just one of the 70 to 80 other engagements he'll play in the coming year.

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Creatively Speaking
3:14 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Once Disdained, Now Acclaimed: Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 1

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Although Russian pianist, composer and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff became an international star, his first symphony was considered a failure when it premiered in 1897, and was not performed again during the composer’s lifetime. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today it’s regarded much differently. 

On Sunday Nov 23, 2014, on WRTI,  the Philadelphia Orchestra performs Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 1. 

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Creatively Speaking
2:45 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

The Artist Who Launched Albert Barnes' Collection With A Trip To Paris and $20,000

William Glackens. Cape Cod Pier, 1908. Oil on canvas, 26 x 32 in. (66 x 81.3 cm). Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University; Gift of an Anonymous Donor

Among those who have shaped Philadelphia’s cultural landscape is someone who not only created his own art, but also influenced the development of the now-renowned Barnes collection in the early 20th century. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on realist painter and Barnes confidant William Glackens (1870-1938).

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