Arts Desk

Check out stories by WRTI arts reporters Meridee Duddleston, Susan Lewis,  Debra Lew Harder, and Maureen Malloy. Arts Desk and Arts News Submission Guidelines

Although the song “Danny Boy” has come to symbolize the Irish Diaspora and Irish national pride, its author was not Irish at all. Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929) was a busy English lawyer who also wrote novels, children’s books, libretti, and the lyrics to some 1500 ballads and songs.

Al Ravenna, courtesy of The Library of Congress

What did “faith” mean to Leonard Bernstein? Although to many his name is synonymous with music, he described his life’s work as a search for a solution to the 20th-century crisis of faith. 

March 12, 2018. Fugue State highlights music from two centuries of keyboard composers from the High Baroque period.  Pianist Alan Feinberg interprets a musical range beginning with Danish-German composer Dieterich Buxtehude and concluding with Bach and Handel. 

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony premiered in 1808 and was praised as "one of the most important works of the time" by critic E.T.A. Hoffman. WRTI’s Susan Lewis explores why, in the more than 200 years since, the work retains its extraordinary appeal.


March 12, 2018. At age 75, Dr. Lonnie Smith still knows how to party. His new release, All In My Mind, was recorded last summer at his birthday celebration at The Jazz Standard in New York City. Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake make this a trio record to remember.

Benjamin Ealovega

Music for Food is a national effort to fight hunger at the local level, through funds raised at classical music concerts. Pianist Jonathan Biss has spearheaded the inaugural year of the Philadelphia chapter of Music for Food with help from Curtis Institute of Music faculty and students.

Even before "talking pictures," a piano or small orchestra played a key role in the movies.  And long after the era of silent films, the importance of music remains. WRTI’s hosts and arts reporters recount some of the soundtracks and movie tunes that linger.

Photo Credit Nic D'Amico

Swan Lake was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's first foray into classical ballet, with a debut in 1877. Today if you ask someone to name an iconic ballet, Swan Lake is one that usually comes to mind. Believe it or not, that probably would have surprised the composer. 

Week of March 5, 2018. The album Romance is a luscious collection of works by composers ranging from J. S. Bach to cinema composer Hans Zimmer. It’s a repackaging of some of pianist Lang Lang’s recordings from the last seven or eight years, put together on one disc, with romance in mind.

March 5, 2018. From one vibraphonist to another, Tribute To Bobby is Steve Hobbs’ homage to his old friend and colleague, the late Bobby Hutcherson. Rather than performing a bunch of Hutcherson’s tunes, Steve composed many of the songs, and added some classics that Bobby liked.

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