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
11:53 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Music Sowing Seeds of Cross-Cultural Understanding

Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble

The arts can encourage positive cultural identity and promote cross-cultural understanding. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, that’s the premise of the Philadelphia-based organization Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, open to people of all backgrounds and presenting and teaching Arab language, art, and music, which can vary among the 22 countries in the Arab world.

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Creatively Speaking
7:26 am
Mon November 10, 2014

From Philadelphia to The Top!

French horn player Ray Seong Jin Han, a freshman at Curtis, is accompanied by pianist Christopher O'Riley, host of FROM THE TOP.

The nationally syndicated public radio program From the Top features gifted young classical musicians from all over the country. They’re always super talented - and often very amusing as they chat with host Christopher O'Riley - which all adds up to great radio. More than 250 public radio stations broadcast the show.

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Creatively Speaking
7:03 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Lang Lang's U.S. Home

Pianist Lang Lang

Pianist Lang Lang came straight to Philadelphia from his native China in hope, rather than certainty, that he would be able to continue his musical education here.  It worked out, and he was admitted to the Curtis Institute where he bloomed into a major talent.

Many Philadelphia Orchestra musicians are Lang Lang’s former classmates from Curtis. And he’s been playing with them regularly since - in Philadelphia, and on tours around the world.

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Creatively Speaking
1:00 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

The Organ Goes Mainstream

Organist Cameron Carpenter

For many people, organ music is for weddings, funerals, and the Phantom of the Opera. But as the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, this pious pocket of classical music is starting to become mainstream.

Why didn't we know about this before? After the gala installation of the Kimmel Center's Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in 2006, interest waned among less-devout concertgoers. And let's face it, the organ community can seem like a forbidding club of connoisseurs. The organ could have sunk into aficionado obscurity.

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Creatively Speaking
1:31 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Carol Jantsch: Taking the Tuba Beyond Oom-Pah-Pahs

Tuba player Carol Jantsch

The largest member of an orchestra’s brass section was invented in the 1830s to play low and powerful notes. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the tuba has a surprising range and versatility. Susan spoke with Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Tuba Carol Jantsch for some insight into the world of the tuba.

Jantsch's recordings include her 2009 solo album, Cascades, and Reflections on the Mississippi, a new CD featuring a tuba concerto written by Michael Daugherty for Jantsch and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra.

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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.

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