Arts Desk

Posts from WRTI Arts Desk radio features.

Thirty years ago, a group of local musicians who share a love of early music, made Renaissance bands new. Their instrumentarium? It includes shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps, and a variety of percussion.  The artistic directors of Piffaro provided Meridee Duddleston with a glimpse of their musical roots.

Englishman Bramwell Tovey is an accomplished pianist, composer and conductor. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he’s also upbeat about the power of music to reach people of all ages. 

Two Englishmen, Guy Wood and Robert Mellin, slipped it into the Great American Songbook just before it closed, just as rock rolled over sophistication. It begins from below, a slowly twisting Roman candle of a tune, and explodes in the top range of the singer, as the eyes of onlookers reflect the glory of what songs once were.

When can music composed for a film stand on its own? WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on how John Williams’ suite from Close Encounters of the Third Kind translates to the concert stage.

Kate Raines/Plate 3 Photography

As the lights go down, and the play or opera begins, you may be wondering about the meaning of a word you read in the theater program. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston introduces Sarah Ollove, who says most people don't have a clue what her job entails.  

There’s some great classical music not often played at adult concert series. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor points to several under-performed masterworks that speak to everyone.

Ron Berard/Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera changed the face of theatergoing nearly a decade ago with  high-definition simulcasts in movie theaters using a technology associated more with rock concerts and boxing matches than opera. What has the competition done to companies such as Opera Philadelphia? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns talks to both sides.

The Yellow River Piano Concerto, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra during its historic trip to China in 1973, has become a part of the Western symphonic repertoire since its premiere in 1969 during China's Cultural Revolution. What is less well known in this country is the story of the cantata that led to the concerto.

On September 22nd, the most well-known song in the English language was freed for use by all. Commercial enterprises will no longer be required to pay licensing fees or risk fines for violating the copyright claim of music publisher Warner/Chappell.  As of this writing, it’s unknown if Warner will continue to fight the case filed two years ago. Stay tuned.

Symphony in C’s new music director grew up in Bulgaria, studied in Paris, and has lived on both coasts of the U.S. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he brings enthusiasm and a wealth of experience learning from some of today’s most masterful conductors.

Listen to a broadcast of Stilian Kirov leading Symphony in C on WRTI: Sunday October 4th at 3 pm, in a program featuring music by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, as well as a new work by Patrick O’Malley, the 2015 Winner of the Symphony’s Young Composers' Competition. Alexander Kobrin, pianist.