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
3:27 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Musical Theater Star Chita Rivera in "The Visit"

Chita Rivera

Revenge fantasies don't get any nastier than The Visit, the 1950s play about a billionaire who returns to the hometown that had done her wrong, having secretly...bought it. But is that something to sing about? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found that the 81-year-old Chita Rivera is in her element doing just that. The Visit, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 17th.

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Creatively Speaking
12:42 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

A Civil War-Era Artist Who Battled Disability

William Trego in his studio in 1899 with "The Rescue of the Colors"
Mercer Museum/Bucks County Historical Society

 

Pennsylvania has been the birthplace of many highly regarded artists; well-known figures such as Thomas Eakins, Benjamin West, and Wharton Esherick. 

However, mention the name William T. Trego and you’ll likely be met with blank stares. WRTI’s Jim Cotter reflects on one of Pennsylvania’s lesser-known masters.  William T. Trego Catalogue at the James A. Michener Art Museum.

Creatively Speaking
12:14 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Remembering the Great Louis Armstrong with Terry Teachout

Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)

August 4th marks the anniversary of the birth of the great trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong who died in 1971 at age 69, one month shy of his 70th birthday. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of the musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage. She speaks with Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal drama critic, playwright, and author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

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Creatively Speaking
11:57 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Classical Star Yuja Wang: Embracing Traditional and Contemporary Culture

Pianist Yuja Wang

Curtis Graduate, Chinese Pianist Yuja Wang performs all over the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the young classical star embraces traditional and contemporary culture.

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Creatively Speaking
11:14 am
Fri August 1, 2014

A German Violin Virtuoso Makes His Philadelphia Debut

Violinist Augustin Hadelich

This Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast features what would turn out to be the final engagement with the ensemble for a great Spanish conductor - the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

The program of French music he conducted, included a lesser-performed work; a Spanish-inspired symphony showcasing a highly regarded German violinist in his Philadelphia Orchestra debut.

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Creatively Speaking
11:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Looking at Debussy and Ravel with the Late Maestro Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos

Spanish conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, who died in June, conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra this past season. The program featured the music of two French composers who wrote and circulated in the same artistic circles in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. During Fruhbeck's visit,  WRTI's Susan Lewis talked with the Maestro about the imagery and musicality of Debussy and Ravel.

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Creatively Speaking
1:29 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Appalachian Spring Eternal: The Story Behind "Ballet for Martha"

Erick Hawkins in the first production of Appalachian Spring, 1944. In the background, left to right: the four Followers, Martha Graham, May O'Donnell
Library of Congress

In the midst of World War II, a collaboration between choreographer Martha Graham and composer Aaron Copland gave birth to an enduring American classic. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston hears Appalachian Spring in a new way.

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Creatively Speaking
1:17 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Diana Glows Again at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) sculpted Diana, who sat on top of Madison Square Garden in NYC before being relocated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This photograph is from 1925.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s statue of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, was created by the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1893, for the top of Madison Square Garden - which was then on New York City's East Side. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a recent re-gilding recalls its past, but also suits its contemporary home. 

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Creatively Speaking
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

David Kim on Tchaikovsky

David Kim
Ryan Donnell

In the 1870s, Tchaikovsky composed such large scale works as Swan Lake, Symphonies 2, 3, and 4, and Variations on a Rococo 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, 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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