Arts Desk

If you missed any of our short Arts Desk features on the air, you can always find them right here, along with additional related content. Check out stories by WRTI arts reporters Meridee Duddleston, Susan Lewis, David Patrick Stearns, Debra Lew Harder, Kile Smith, and Maureen Malloy. Arts Desk and Arts News Submission Guidelines

Dr. Albert Barnes was often keen to mix music with his legendary art collection. So in that spirit, the Barnes Foundation will be adding some 16 concerts to Philadelphia’s classical music community. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports they will be serious.

Finding Jazz in Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto

Jan 16, 2017

It was the late 1920s when French composer Maurice Ravel first heard jazz in the United States and in Paris, where it was also popular. How did it influence his 1931 Piano Concerto in G Major? WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Pianist Lara Downes' Vision of the American Dream

Jan 16, 2017

The hope in the "American Dream" is heard in America Again, the new CD by pianist Lara Downes. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has the story.

What Is a Fugue?

Jan 16, 2017

You don’t need to know anything about classical music to love it. But a deeper understanding of its rich history and context can add something special to your listening experience. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston takes us on this short flight of the fugue, which reached the height of its popularity in the Baroque period. German composer J.S. Bach is credited with developing the form that relies on counterpoint: the combination of two or more musical lines.

The Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service is the largest event of its kind in the country.  Volunteers spread out across the region to perform all kinds of service projects. Thousands converge on the campus of Girard College for a full slate of activities, including a job fair. 

Credit: Dirty Sugar Photography

Benj Pasek (an Ardmore native) and Justin Paul—best friends from their days at the University of Michigan—just won a 2017 Golden Globe Award for writing the lyrics to the song "City of Stars" from the hit film La La Land.

What is Gypsy Jazz?

Jan 9, 2017

Gypsy Jazz founders Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli were both born this month in the first decade of the 20th century. Rooted in African-American communities of the South, jazz became popular in Europe in the 1920s and '30s and influenced the development of other styles. WRTI's Susan Lewis has more on "Gypsy jazz."

The Mystery of Music as an Art Form

Jan 9, 2017
Credit: Jeff Herman

Music can be mysterious, even to those who spend their lives creating it. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, composer Christopher Rouse ponders the profound power of music with his concerto for organ and orchestra.

Why Is Classical Music Called Classical Music?

Jan 4, 2017

Why do we call so much of the orchestral music we hear classical music? WRTI’s Susan Lewis suggests that  the masters of history’s classical period, from 1750 to the early 1800’s, may have branded the art form forever.


The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles—with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

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