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

Fritz Kreisler

A lesser-known fantasy by twentieth-century violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler has captured the imagination of Benjamin Beilman, a 21st-century soloist on the rise. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

What are all the things you need to know if your goal is to be a concert pianist? More than 20 aspiring musicians ages 12 to 27 will travel to Philadelphia in early August from Asia, South America, Canada, and parts of the United States to find out.

In 1956, a groundbreaking performance at the Newport Jazz Festival changed the course of Duke Ellington's path in jazz. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more. 


Credit: Felix Broede

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a highly educated member of the Russian elite. But it’s his connection with folk tunes and the countryside that especially touches one of today’s young classical stars. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Even though it's not a universal favorite among presidents, "Hail to the Chief" remains their official entrance theme.  WRTI's Meridee Duddleston has more on the origin of the march that begins with the ultimate in fanfare, not three, but four "Ruffles and Flourishes."  

A new education program in Philadelphia is creating unique opportunities for aspiring classical music students from diverse backgrounds, with the ultimate goal of bridging cultural gaps in the classical music industry. It was born of an uncommon level of cooperation, in a city that has an abundance of fine programs for budding classical musicians.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts has resided for over 40 years in its West Fairmount Park home. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on how this Philadelphia venue for summer music came to be.

Born in northern Italy in 1782, Niccolò Paganini became one of the greatest violin virtuosos in classical music history. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his 24 Caprices show off his extraordinary technique—and more.

Radio script:

[Music: Paganini, Caprice No. 5, Rachel Barton Pine]

Susan Lewis: Paganini kept many of his compositions for himself to perform during his lifetime. But his 24 caprices he published and dedicated to 'all the artists.' Violinist Rachel Barton Pine:

What instrument has been used to conjure a shepherd’s horn as well as a human cry of despair? WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the oddly named, but evocative, English horn.

While Samuel Barber is best known for his moving Adagio for Strings, he wrote a lot of other music that continues to inspire musicians and listeners to this day. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with filmmaker Paul Moon about his documentary, Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty, which had its Philadelphia premiere on Saturday, July 15, 2017 on WHYY-TV.   An encore performance will air on Friday, July 21st, at noon. 

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