Creatively Speaking

Throughout the week

Creatively Speaking is WRTI's daily look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Listen to brief features throughout the day!

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Creatively Speaking
1:25 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Bramwell Tovey: A Musical Attache

Conductor and composer Bramwell Tovey

Etiquette books talk about how to be a perfect guest. But Bramwell Tovey could write one on how to be the perfect guest conductor. He isn't afraid to program crowd pleasers, but does them on a level that has won him a Grammy Award.

He's not only up for conducting Christmas concerts - not typical for someone of his stature - but for his forthcoming one with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he has actually written a Christmas carol. Or, as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, he's still writing it.

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Creatively Speaking
6:02 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Curtis Grads Giving a Year of Service to the Philadelphia Community

The Bok Trio in a very open rehearsal at a Curtis open house. A very open rehearsal is a format that teaching artists use to let audiences into the rehearsal process. The artists use reactions from the audience to inform their interpretation of the piece.

The Franklin Project is a new, national initiative aiming to set up a year of service as a rite of passage for America’s young adults in a variety of fields. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Curtis Institute of Music joined the initiative with the launching of the first ArtistYear Fellowship Program, a pilot program with three recent graduates who dedicate a year of service to the Greater Philadelphia community - with the goal of becoming professional artist citizens.

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Creatively Speaking
5:54 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

A New Opera Remembers A Tragic Day In Dallas

Richard Nixon, Patty Hearst, and J. Robert Oppenheimer are just three of the historic figures that have been portrayed on the modern opera stage. Next is the most beloved icon of all, John F. Kennedy, in an opera that will premiere in Fort Worth, but is being partly developed by Opera Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns is finding out just what might make JFK sing.

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Creatively Speaking
5:30 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Bebe Neuwirth's First and Other Loves

Bebe Neuwirth is probably best known for her portrayal of Lilith Sternin-Crane in the TV sitcom Cheers, and more recently for co-starring in CBS TV series Madam Secretary. Yet, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, her roots are not in television or film, but on the Broadway stage. 

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Creatively Speaking
3:56 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Listen To This: The Dreamiest Chopin You've Ever Heard

Pianist Chad Lawson's "The Chopin Variations," performed with violinist Judy Kang and cellist Rubin Kodheli, presents the music of Chopin in a whole new way.

After being featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Chad Lawson's CD, The Chopin Variations, shot to No. 1 on iTunes Classical before it was even released in September, 2014. Lawson's interpretation of Chopin's nocturnes, preludes, and waltzes involves a surprising reconfiguration of the piano, and offers a sense of intimacy with the music that is likely new to most listeners.

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston learns about the power of simplicity in her conversation with pianist Chad Lawson.

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Creatively Speaking
6:10 am
Mon December 8, 2014

The Obsessive Love That Fueled Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

A symphonic self portrait that premiered in 1830 has become one of the most-performed works in the orchestral repertoire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis discusses this epitome of romantic program music with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

Explore an interactive feature about the Berlioz's work here.

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Creatively Speaking
4:55 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Vibraphonist Tony Miceli: Staying Late

Tony Miceli

Despite having arrived a little late for the peak of the city's live music scene, a Philadelphia jazz musician  has kept himself busy for almost four decades. WRTI's Jim Cotter reports.

Vibraphonist Tony Miceli caught the tail-end of the hay-days of live jazz when he first began playing professionally in the 1970s.

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Creatively Speaking
4:36 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

That Hypnotic Music from the Film, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Opening shot from the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, made famous by Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra," composed in 1896.

Think of the rising of the sun...for the first time ever. Russian Conductor Vladimir Jurowski says it's an ingenious beginning to the tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra by German composer Richard Strauss, based on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's novel of the same name. 

Music from the popular symphonic piece played a memorable role in the 1968 Hollywood film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, those famous opening bars are only the beginning of a work that continues to engage and intrigue audiences.

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Creatively Speaking
1:05 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Pushing Jazz Performance In New Directions

Philadelphia Jazz Project is promoting the Mysterious Travelers Concert Series at the Free Library. It features free monthly concerts running through April 2015. Above is drummer Wayne Smith, Jr, performing on December 8th at 7 pm.
Howard Pitkow Photography

A former WRTI host stays close to jazz with an organization designed to extend its reach. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston speaks with the founder of the Philadelphia Jazz Project.

Have popular “performance spectacles” replaced the straightforward dance between a jazz artist and an instrument? Director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Homer Jackson, is considering that question and innovative approaches to the performance of music that has often depended upon an intimate feel - and feeling.

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Creatively Speaking
11:08 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Who Needs an Audience? Not the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia

Members of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia play together for the love of music.

There’s an orchestra in Philadelphia that plays music weekly with professional musicians and talented amateurs. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia - now celebrating 50 years - rarely, if ever, has an audience. 

WRTI’s Jack Moore has been principal conductor since 1997. The many guests who have led the group include musicians and assistant conductors from The Philadelphia Orchestra. Soloists have included Leila Josefowicz and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

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