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

Finding Inner Peace Listening to Beethoven

May 14, 2017

How can classical music change your outlook on life? Beethoven’s life and music may hold a key. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks to conductor Cristian Macelaru about Beethoven's ability to connect with the humanity in all of us.

The Jazz Sanctuary is an organization that takes jazz into houses of worship and other nontraditional venues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, founder Alan Segal says jazz and the spiritual community drove his recovery from a life-threatening crisis.

Elgar dedicated his second “Pomp and Circumstance” march to him. Sibelius honored him with a whole symphony. But the person who inspired these accolades is not all that well known.

Johannes Brahms Mended a Friendship with this Music

May 12, 2017

Can making music together heal a fractured friendship? Johannes Brahms reached out to his friend Joseph Joachim in the way he knew best. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with violinist Joshua Bell to find out the details.

When songwriter and Ardmore native Benj Pasek accepted an Academy Award in February for writing the lyrics (with songwriting partner Justin Paul) to "City of Stars" from the movie La La Land, he gave an unforgettable shout-out to his mom, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek.

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem is unusual—in form, in scope, and in message. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Latin Mass for chorus and orchestra is interspersed by English poetry about the brutality of war.

Twentieth-century Austrian composer Alban Berg dedicated his Violin Concerto to the memory of the 18-year-old daughter of a friend. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work evokes emotion not typically associated with the 12-tone style.


 

Known for her distinctive singing, which she did most often from the keyboard, Shirley Horn studied classical music before turning to jazz in the 1950s.  In the early '60s she caught the attention of Miles  Davis, and then her career started to take off.

Tony Webb / City of Philadelphia, 2016

When the Newport Jazz Festival announced that Philadelphia-born musician Christian McBride would assume the role of its artistic director in 2017, festival founder and current producer George Wein said, "When I first met Christian McBride in 1989, I knew he was someone special.

The bass player, composer, band leader, arts and education advocate strikes people that way.  Along with his stand-out talent and engaging personality, McBride pays attention and seems to live in the moment.  That focus reaps rewards for McBride and for the rest of us.   

Conductor Herbert Blomstedt’s life has been fueled by music for over eight decades. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he says an early listening experience was the spark.

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