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: Jessica Griffin

The largest, lowest non-brass woodwind instrument in the orchestra evokes darkness, romance, humor, and joy. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more about the contrabassoon.

Two great sax players were born on the same day, just three years apart. On February 2nd, 1924, Sonny Stitt was born in Boston, and Stan Getz made his first appearance in Philadelphia on the same day in 1927. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, each had his own style that would influence future generations.

The artistry and athleticism of the ballet dancer can soar with a well-fitting pointe shoe. On a given weekend, members of three generations of the Jenkins family might be on the scene at The Rosin Box, a jewel-like shop on Sansom Street in Philadelphia, just a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square, where ballet slippers and pointe shoes are sold—and, where music lives.

Jessica Griffin

Hollywood may have typecast the bassoon as comedic star, but Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa fills us in on the instrument’s great lyrical expressiveness. WRTI's Susan Lewis has the story.

When it's time to celebrate, no music expresses the joy of life like klezmer. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder takes us into klezmer's rich world and heritage. This Sunday, February 19 at 8 pm, you can hear the Philadelphia Klezmer Heritage Ensemble, directed by Hankus Netsky, at Temple Beth Sholom in Elkins Park.

Rossini’s Tancredi is seldom heard, so opera audiences may only be curious. But the singers can’t wait, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns tells why. Stephanie Blythe sings the title role in Opera Philadelphia's production of Tancredi on Feb. 15, 17, and 19.

Keyon Harrold; credit: Deneka Peniston

The virtuosity of the legendary Miles Davis speaks through another trumpeter who follows him in tune and time. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston talks with the musician behind the sound in the 2016 biopic, Miles Ahead, which won a 2017 Grammy Award.

Classical composer Michael Daugherty, who won two 2017 Grammy Awards, writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.


Dominic Mercier

Oscar Wilde’s late 19th-century play, retelling the biblical story of Salome, became the basis for Richard Strauss' one-act opera SALOME that premiered in Dresden in 1905. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the opera continues to shock and dazzle, nearly a century later.

Born in New York City to Jewish-German immigrants, Lorenz Hart penned some of Broadway’s most haunting, sophisticated lyrics. He began collaborating with composer Richard Rodgers when he was 24 and Rodgers 17.

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