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
7:18 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Stephen Hough on Tchaikovsky: Finding New Inspiration from an Old Master

Pianist Stephen Hough

Concert pianist Stephen Hough also composes, writes articles for an online publication, and likes to paint.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the internationally renowned soloist continues to find fresh inspiration in the great masterworks.

Stephen Hough is soloist on WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast - Sunday, November 9 at 1 pm.  Tune in to hear Hough play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Philadelphians.

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Creatively Speaking
7:15 am
Mon November 3, 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
6:07 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Robin Ticciati's Poise and Purpose

Conductor Robin Ticciati

A young British conductor is developing a fruitful relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra. WRTI's Jim Cotter reports.

Lauded for his diverse range of conducting styles and his unique sense of silence as an expressive tool, Robin Ticciati has achieved much in his 31 years. He founded a chamber ensemble while only 21, and made his La Scala debut at 22 - the youngest conductor ever to stand on the podium of Italy’s greatest opera house.

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Creatively Speaking
12:40 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

A New Orchestra Brings Classical Music to Small PA Towns & Cities

Michael Butterman is music director of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic

The Pennsylvania Philharmonic, a professional orchestra launched over the summer of 2014, is hitting the road to bring classical music to Pennsylvania's many small cities and towns. With an emphasis on community engagement and performing for young people, the 70-member ensemble is breaking new ground at its children’s concerts, which is not ancillary, but central to its identity.

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Creatively Speaking
11:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Losing His Head in the Opera, Salome: Bass-Baritone Alan Held

In Richard Strauss' SALOME, the character depicting John the Baptist is beheaded after he refuses the advances of Salome.

It was a Bible story, and then a French play by Oscar Wilde. Then it was translated into German, before Strauss turned it into his opera, Salome. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a production from May, 2014 continued the evolution of this complex and compelling work of art.

On Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 1 pm on WRTI, listen to a recorded broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia performing Richard Strauss' Salome.

Creatively Speaking
10:37 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Do You Know The First Figaro?

Neal Bledsoe as Count Almaviva, Adam Green as Figaro, and Naomi O'Connell as Rosine in Stephen Wadsworth's Beaumarchais adaptations, THE FIGARO PLAYS, at Princeton's McCarter Theatre through April, 2014.

Figaro, the wily barber of Seville is portrayed in two great operas. The popular Rossini work that bears his name and Mozart’s account of his marriage.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns explores how some legendary characters continue to speak to a contemporary director.

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Creatively Speaking
6:30 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Soprano Camilla Nylund: Singing SALOME Throughout The World

Lyric dramatic soprano Camilla Nylund, a native of Finland, singing Salome with Opera Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Orchestra in May, 2014.
Dominic Mercier

Oscar Wilde’s late 19th-century play, retelling the biblical story of Salome, became the basis for Richard Strauss' one-act opera SALOME that premiered in Dresden in 1905. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the opera continues to shock and dazzle, nearly a century later.

WRTI re-broadcasts The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia in a joint production of Salome, with Camilla Nylund in the title role, on Sunday, November 2 at 1 pm.

Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Philadelphia's Age-Old Love Of Beer

An advertisement for Bergner and Engel's Brewery, circa 1875

Anyone who has ever attended a local sports event knows that Philadelphians love their beer. But what’s less well understood is the role that Philadelphia brewers, many of whom were German immigrants, played in the social and economic development of the city during the 1800s. WRTI's Jim Cotter reports.

Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI
1:14 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Composer David Ludwig: All In The Family

David Ludwig is acutely aware of the importance of legacy. Born into a long line of celebrated figures in classical music, Ludwig is just the latest member of his immediate family to attend, and then become, a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music.

His grandfather and great-grandfather stand out in history as some of the foremost performers of their time on piano and violin, respectively. But more than just fame and talent, Ludwig’s lineage instilled him with a commitment to both moral and artistic integrity.

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Creatively Speaking
12:15 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Pictures at an Exhibition: The Evolution of a Masterpiece

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-1881)

One popular work in the orchestral repertoire was written by a Russian composer and then orchestrated decades later by a Frenchman. As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, this version had its first performance in October in Paris  in 1922. The music describes a stroll through the gallery - a promenade - with ten specific images brought to life.

Six of the drawings and watercolors that inspired Mussorgsky have survived.  The first performance of Pictures at an Exhibition as orchestrated by Ravel took place in Paris on October 19th in 1922.

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