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
12:08 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

The Famous Letter That Beethoven Wrote, about His Life and Art, at Age 31

Ludwig van Beethoven, overwhelmed with his loss of hearing, wrote a letter to his brothers in 1802 while resting in Heiligenstadt, Austria.

The Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter and directive written by Beethoven to his brothers in October, 1802, is an important missive, opened after the composer's death in 1827. It depicts his pain and struggle: the diminishing hope that his hearing will improve, a feeling of growing isolation, and his commitment to his art, that utlimately saves his life. By the time he wrote The Heiligenstadt Testament, the already-acclaimed composer had spent six years, starting at age 26 or 27, searching in vain for a “cure.”

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Creatively Speaking
11:13 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Finding New Dimensions in Chamber Music

Dolce Suono's repertoire spans a range of works from Baroque to contemporary, for two to 11 musicians, with various combinations of instruments.

Chamber music, played by small ensembles, one player to a part, and without a conductor, is an intimate and engaging art form. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it can also provide insight into history and human emotions.  

For flutist and music historian Mimi Stillman, chamber music is a way to explore important issues "that illuminate how people thought at a given time."

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Creatively Speaking
10:44 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Violinist Tim Fain: Uniting Music Of The Cutting Edge With The Distant Past

Violinist Tim Fain

For all his hip Brooklyn looks, and up-to-the-minute repertoire, violinist Tim Fain is not adverse to traditional repertoire.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports on a classical musician who doesn’t embrace the future by turning the page on the past.

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Creatively Speaking
6:36 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Going Strong: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

PCMS presents Belcea Quartet on October 17th at 8 pm at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater.

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society (PCMS) has been feeding the growing musical appetites of music lovers for decades with increasing numbers of concerts. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, PCMS grew out of the celebrated Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, where gifted classical musicians have been playing chamber music since 1951.

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Creatively Speaking
7:36 am
Mon September 29, 2014

A Modern Barber of Seville for Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia's production of The Barber of Seville runs through October 5th at the Academy of Music.
Kelly & Massa

The Barber of Seville is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Opera-goers always kind of knew that. But in Opera Philadelphia's new production, the setting is being brought forward 200 years to modern Spain - where passion crosses the line into...who knows? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

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Creatively Speaking
6:56 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Designing Buildings Where Art Amazes and Sound Soars

Frank Gehry at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Master Plan press preview in June, 2014. By his own account, music and art are among his favorite things.
Constance Mensh

Award-winning architect Frank Gehry, known for designing buildings with striking exteriors, is now partnering with The Philadelphia Museum of Art on a mostly interior renovation and expansion of its classical structure. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this renowned architect is inspired by classical as well as contemporary culture.

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Creatively Speaking
6:30 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Fred Hersch, Senior Statesman of Jazz

Pianist Fred Hersch
David Bartolomi

This Sunday on WRTI, the hosting musician for Philadelphia Music Makers is Fred Hersch. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the acclaimed pianist started life in the classical world, until his fascination with a jazz standard showed him a whole new world.

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Creatively Speaking
6:07 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Jazz and Experimental Music in Philadelphia: Ars Nova Workshop At Work

Sam Amidon sings and plays fiddle, guitar, and banjo.

Ars Nova means “New Art." And for over a dozen years, Ars Nova Workshop in Philadelphia has been presenting musicians performing jazz and experimental music in interesting venues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, promoting new music is in keeping with Philadelphia’s rich musical history.

Coming up: Friday, October 17th at 8 pm, Ars Nova Workshop and FringeArts present: singer/fiddler/banjoist/guitarist Sam Amidon with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, and bassist Shahzad Ismaily in celebration of Lily-O, the new album of re-imagined folk songs on Nonesuch Records. Tickets and information here.
 

Creatively Speaking
6:02 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Celebrating C.P.E. Bach: The Sentimental Rebel

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (March 8, 1714 – December 14, 1788)

J.S. Bach’s second-surviving son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), was a musical force in his own right. His fame, at least after the mid-1700s, overshadowed that of his now-legendary father. This year, six German cities with ties to C.P.E.’s musical footprint in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt (Oder), Leipzig, Potsdam, and Weimar are leading a celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.   

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Creatively Speaking
10:46 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Up-and-Coming Orchestras Impress At This Year's Proms

Royal Albert Hall in London

This year, the trend-setting BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall had a season that brought in orchestras from the least-likely of places: Lapland, Iceland and Turkey.  What could they bring to a table dominated by the storied orchestras of Vienna and Berlin? A distinctive national identity, says the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.

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