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
3:15 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

German Violinist Arabella Steinbacher

Arabella Steinbacher first came to public attention in 2004 when, at short notice, she substituted for an ailing Kyung Wha Chung to perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Sir Neville Marriner.

Steinbacher’s continued success since is due, in large part, to her diverse and deep repertoire, which includes more than 40 violin concertos extending from the classical period to the music of  twentieth-century composers such as Barber, Berg, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky. 

Creatively Speaking
12:01 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Iconic Conductor Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski (April 18, 1882 – September 13, 1977)

Philadelphia Orchestra audiences were reminded of what Leopold Stokowski's celebrated hands wrought when, earlier this year, Music Director Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducted a four-concert Stokowski tribute at the theater where it all started a century ago - The Academy of Music.

Creatively Speaking
11:52 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Charles Dutoit: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Outgoing Chief Conductor

In no sense of the word is the Swiss-born conductor Charles Dutoit retiring. He has, however, completed his tenure as chief conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, making way for Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the ensemble’s new music director.

Named chief conductor after the departure of  Christoph Eschenbach in 2008, Maestro Dutoit has provided a leadership bridge between music directors, providing advice on guest conductors and repertory, auditioning new players, and leading the ensemble for weeks at home and on foreign tours.

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Creatively Speaking
11:51 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Finnish Composer Kaija Saariaho: Far From Typical

Her music arrives like a massive glacier - towering, deliberate, and unstoppable. To those who follow modern music, such sounds as these could only be the work of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

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Creatively Speaking
11:50 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia at PMA

“Bathers by a River,” 1909, 1913 and 1916, Henri Matisse, French, 1869-1954, Oil on canvas, 102 1/2 x 154 3/16 inches, Art Institute of Chicago.

WRTI's Susan Lewis take you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's exhibition that explores how the idea of utopia captivated the imaginations of early 20th-century artists. Visions of Arcadia runs through September 3rd.

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Creatively Speaking
4:39 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer Jennifer Higdon

Jennifer Higdon and her cat, Beau.

Pulitzer Prize and multiple Grammy award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon has written a large body of work for a range of ensembles, including orchestras, chamber groups, choruses, and wind ensembles. Now, she’s  working on her first opera, commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera and The Opera Company of Philadelphia. 

Creatively Speaking
4:10 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

English Violinist Tasmin Little's Love For Delius

Violinist Tasmin Little has the fingers to play anything and the career to play almost anywhere. Yet on her last trip to Philadelphia, the woman who is widely considered the finest British violinist of her generation made a special trip to play at the German Society of Philadelphia on Spring Garden Street, and did so for the sake of a composer whom she has championed most of her adult life - Frederick Delius. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns visited her at her London home and discovered that her love for Delius is a model for other quixotic causes in her life.

Creatively Speaking
3:50 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Exploring Philadelphia's Mütter Museum

Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum is not a typical tourist stop displaying  artwork, or artifacts of culture, history or science - although it has some of all of these. The museum is popularly known today for its human specimens of medical anomalies, such as the tallest skeleton in North America and its plaster cast of conjoined twins - but its mission extends beyond entertaining the curious public.   

Creatively Speaking
2:58 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Yannick Nezet-Seguin Debuts at Saratoga

Marco Borggreve

The Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin made his Saratoga Performing Arts Center debut this week in a trio of concerts that appear to insure, as much as anything can, the Orchestra’s continued presence there. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports from Upstate New York.

Creatively Speaking
2:55 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Pianist Helene Grimaud

The French-born pianist Helene Grimaud is among the most gifted pianists of her generation. The forty-something-year old is not only blessed with great musical ability, but also with some extraordinary mental powers. 

She experiences synesthesia, a condition that causes the physical senses to overlap. In Grimaud's case, this manifests itself as an ability to see and touch music.  In practice, this makes it possible for her to rehearse without a piano and still fully experience the music.

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