Creatively Speaking

Throughout the week

Creatively Speaking is WRTI's daily look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Listen to brief features throughout the day!

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Creatively Speaking
5:12 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Will 27 Pieces Win Violinist Hilary Hahn One More Grammy Award?

[Update: Yes! Hilary Hahn won in her category on February 8, 2015]

An encore may be played after a scheduled piece. However, it’s not an afterthought. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, violinist Hillary Hahn’s collection of commissioned encores, that is up for a GRAMMY for "Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance" at next month’s ceremony, showcases more than two dozen such works for violin and piano.

Radio script:

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Creatively Speaking
5:03 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

How a Charming & Deadly Con Man Inspired an Opera and Concerto: A Real-Life Story

A 19th-century American saloon is the setting for Bramwell Tovey's 'Songs of the Paradise Saloon" concerto for trumpet and orchestra, based on an evil manipulator, who was a shyster and a murderer.

The true story of a 19th-century swindler in New York City inspired not only an opera, but also a concerto. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Bramwell Tovey’s Songs of the Paradise Saloon for trumpet and orchestra.

Radio Script:

Susan Lewis: Commissioned by the Calgary Opera, Bramwell Tovey became intrigued by the life of a notorious man named Alexander Keith. Both charming and deadly, Keith swindled many, and eventually planted explosives in an ocean liner, killing 80 people.  

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Creatively Speaking
11:56 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Opera Philadelphia Gets Wilde

Frank Harris (William Burden) urges Oscar Wilde (David Daniels) to flee to France.
Ken Howard The Santa Fe Opera

The East Coast premiere of an opera about the 19th-century, Anglo-Irish writer Oscar Wilde is from Feb. 6th t0 15th at the Academy of Music. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, Wilde's life story is as compelling as his work.

Oscar Wilde came to America early in his career, even before he’d written anything of any consequence. He was already a gifted raconteur.

Historian John Cooper is an authority on Wilde in America. He says many of Wilde’s most-quoted phrases, like much of his writings, have a timeless quality.

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Creatively Speaking
1:44 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

What Did Bach Sound Like In The Time of Mendelssohn?

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

For decades, musicians have struggled to determine what J.S. Bach sounded like in his own time. As The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia is turning the clock in a different direction on February 8th at Girard College, determining what Bach sounded like in the time of...Mendelssohn.

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Creatively Speaking
6:05 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

A Young Composer Inspired by One Book, One Philadelphia's 'Orphan Train'

Composer TJ Cole wrote "O Children, Dear Children," to accompany the Jan. 22nd launch of the 2015 One Book, Philadelphia program.

Curtis Institute of Music composition student TJ Cole is only 21, but she already has a string of impressive commissions under her belt. Last year she was chosen to write a piece of music based on the Free Library's 2015 One Book, One Philadelphia selection - Orphan Train, a novel by Christina Baker Kline.

It’s the story of 91-year-old Vivian, who lost her family as a child, and 17-year-old Molly, a foster child who also knows what it’s like to be alone and unwanted.  

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Creatively Speaking
11:24 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Ask a Young Artist Why Music Matters

The Curtis Institute of Music is turning out young musicians who not only play extremely well, but are also advocates for their art form. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, three recent grads, now members of the Bok Trio, are passionate about the importance of music, and optimistic about its future. 

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Creatively Speaking
10:53 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Helping The Violins Sing: Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Concertmaster Juliette Kang

Violinist Juliette Kang
Amanda Hall Studios

The strings are the largest section of a symphony orchestra, and communicating among them to create a unified sound involves the conductor, the  concertmaster, and another pivotal player. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Juliette Kang about her position as associate concertmaster, and the lure of her instrument. 

On WRTI's  broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra this Sunday, May 12th at 2 pm, Juliette Kang will lead the strings in a program featuring Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence, for string orchestra, and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5.

Creatively Speaking
7:33 am
Sun February 1, 2015

How Cool Are Sax Masters Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz!

Two great sax players were born on the same day, just three years apart. On February 2nd, 1924, Sonny Stitt was born in Boston, and Stan Getz made his first appearance in Philadelphia on the same day in 1927. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, each had his own style that would influence future generations.

On Monday, February 2, 2015, WRTI's Bob Perkins celebrates these two jazz greats with a special show. 

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Creatively Speaking
1:27 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra's 2015-2016 Season Announced!

Yannick Nezet-Seguin is music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is hardly settling into a routine in its fourth season with Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Plans for 2015-2016 announced this week have the conductor going well beyond typical classical subscription concerts, plus engineering guest appearances that are bound to make national news. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

Radio Script:

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Philadelphia Music Makers, Jan. 25, 6 PM
4:31 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Venissa Santi: A Cultural Voyager

Vocalist Venissa Santi

Vocalist Venissa Santi's musical journey has been one of intimate self discovery. Since childhood, her Cuban parents familiarized her with the sounds of her culture, but not until adulthood did she make pilgrimage to Havana and truly fall in love with the country's songbook.

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