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

Credit: Matthew Murphy

Benj Pasek (an Ardmore native) and Justin Paul—best friends from their days at the University of Michigan—won a 2017 Academy Award for writing the lyrics to the song "City of Stars" from the hit film La La Land. They're also Golden Globe winners! And now... they can add Tony awards to the mantle, including the 2017 Tony for Best Musical.

Symphonies and concertos are composed to be performed in their entirety, but sometimes individual movements take on lives of their own. WRTI’s Susan Lewis considers the slow movement of Robert Schumann’s Violin Concerto with violinist Joshua Bell.

Edvard Grieg was just 24 when he wrote his only completed piano concerto in 1868. It's one of his greatest works, and launched his international career. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.
 


The song “Some Enchanted Evening” is a sublime moment in the post-war production South Pacific that continues to inspire. Louis Armstrong, Billy Eckstine, Placido Domingo, The Temptations, Barbra Streisand, José Carreras, Bob Dylan, Jane Oliver and lots of other artists have recorded it.

“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, ” “My Funny Valentine,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “The Sound of Music." With over 900 songs to his name, composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) left an indelible mark on American musical theater. His songs became an important part of the Great American Songbook, in part because jazz artists and singers loved to re-invent them. If Rodgers had had his way, though, he wouldn’t have let anyone else change a note. Why not?

Mark Garvin

The classic Broadway musical Gypsy is back, this time at the Arden Theatre through June 25th with Philly favorite Mary Martello in the role of Mama Rose. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns asks why this character is forever fascinating.


A New Work Sings of Freedom with Understanding

Jun 5, 2017

As we celebrate America this summer, a new choral work reminds us that American culture goes back way beyond 1776. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Spirit of the Winding Water.

The symphony, as we know it today, underwent major changes from the end of the 18th to the late 19th century. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, two symphonies from two composers in Vienna during that time illustrate the range of the form.
 


The Second Violins Are Not Second Fiddle!

May 30, 2017
Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Orchestra

A large orchestra usually has 30 to 40 violinists, divided into two sections. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with violinist Paul Arnold about the critical, but often unsung role of the second violins.

An 18-member contingent from the Philadelphia Orchestra is going to Mongolia June 2nd through the 4th. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports on the preparations as part of its Far East tour to China and South Korea.


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