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
8:46 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Yuja Wang: A Thoroughly Modern Classical Performer

The in-demand Chinese piano virtuoso Yuja Wang performs all over the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the young classical star, who is a Curtis graduate, embraces music and the world beyond the concert stage in her signature style.

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Creatively Speaking
10:06 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Mozart In The Ratings Jungle

The way we watch television has altered radically in the past 10 years. So, too, has the classical music world. Yet now, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, a musician's memoir written a decade ago is being adapted for television...but not for any traditional TV station.

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Creatively Speaking
11:35 am
Mon February 17, 2014

A Young Composer's Musical Mirror to Iraq War Veteran's Haunting Novel

Composer Alyssa Weinberg

Curtis graduate student Alyssa Weinberg read and re-read this year’s One Book, One Philadelphia choice as she composed Prayer, her work inspired by The Yellow Birds. With war as its setting, the novel by Kevin Powers makes a zigzag journey in time and place between Iraq, Fort Dix, a base in Germany, and Virginia - the place a young Private Bartle leaves, and returns to, profoundly changed.

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Creatively Speaking
7:00 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Clarinetist Making His Own Sound

Clarinetist Ricardo Morales

Musicians are, understandably, very particular about the instruments they play. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a principal player in the Philadelphia Orchestra was so interested in refining his instrument, he wound up creating a whole line of clarinets.

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Creatively Speaking
6:45 am
Mon February 17, 2014

The Relentless Career of Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Yannick Nezet-Seguin has been known to conduct the St. Matthew Passion and La Traviata - on the same day. But he recently returned from a two-month work hiatus brought on by illness. Now, as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, Yannick is learning how to pace himself, but not from his predecessor at the Rotterdam Philharmonic.

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Creatively Speaking
5:17 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Opera Philadelphia Gives Us: "The Bird"

Whenever Charlie Parker played a solo, you knew you'd feel good by the end. Opera Philadelphia is jumping off an even higher dive - an opera about the celebrated saxophonist, titled Charlie Parker's Yardbird that the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports will bring many unexpected things to the Perelman Theater at its 2015 premiere. 

Creatively Speaking
11:42 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Bach@7: Musical Gems By The Baroque Master Performed Near Rittenhouse Square

Bach@7 concerts coming up: February 19, March 19, and April 9 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church near Rittenhouse Square.

J.S. Bach’s masterpieces, well-known to many listeners, include his Mass in B minor, the Goldberg Variations, and The Well-Tempered Clavier. However, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Baroque composer also wrote hundreds of lesser-known, short, vocal works with instrumental accompaniment, which are now the focus of a Philadelphia Bach Cantata series, called "Bach@ 7." The series features informal, one-hour long, pay-as-you-wish live concerts played on period instruments - modeled after similar series in Europe and New York.

The next "Bach@7" concert: Wednesday, March 19th at St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 1625 Locust Street near Rittenhouse Square.

WRTI's Susan Lewis talks with Matt Glandorf, artistic director of Choral Arts and The Bach Festival of Philadelphia, about the origin and goals of the Bach@7 series.

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Creatively Speaking
12:50 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Beyond Tutus: Philadelphia's BalletX

BalletX continues its seventh season this week with its Winter Series, featuring two world premieres.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the company, founded by former Pennsylvania Ballet dancers, continues to expand its musical settings and push the boundaries of classical forms.

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Creatively Speaking
4:49 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Super Bowl Soprano Renee Fleming Returns To Her "Day Job"

Soprano Renee Fleming scored a touchdown in her pre-Super Bowl performance of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Singing at The Metropolitan Opera rarely means just returning to "business as usual." But - for soprano Renee Fleming, the worldwide audience for the February 8th Met Opera radio broadcast and HD simulcast in which she stars will be small change compared to the millions who watched her recent pre-Super Bowl performance.

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Creatively Speaking
7:22 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Duke Ellington: The Influential, Elegant Genius

Duke Ellington (1899-1974)

Duke Ellington wrote and performed hundreds of musical works, and changed the way people thought about jazz.  And, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his contributions went beyond the music.

Terry Teachout's Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington is published by Gotham Books.

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