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

Bagpipes often play at police and firefighter funerals, but they also play at celebrations.  And in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes & Drums play everything from "Amazing Grace" to the Rocky theme, to music in concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra.


Week of February 26, 2018. Pianist Lara Downes has put together a fascinating tribute to Leonard Bernstein, celebrating the 100th birthday of the conductor/composer/pianist.

Week of February 26, 2018. Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933: El Eco With Guillermo Nojechowicz. In his latest album, Argentine-born drummer and composer Guillermo Nojechowicz creates an expansive soundscape inspired his grandmother’s journey from Warsaw to Buenos Aires to escape rising anti-Semitism.

With genius and grace, African-American slaves transformed bitter human experience into a beautiful art form called the "spiritual." One of the most haunting African-American spirituals, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” was likely borne out of heart-wrenching tragedy: the forcible separation of parent from child.

It was the fall of 1802 when Ludwig van Beethoven confessed his nearly fatal despair about his growing deafness, in what’s now known as his "Heiligenstadt Testament." His music then took a daring new turn. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas about Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica."

Marc Horn

Violinist Joshua Bell is in town playing Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he made his first major concert debut at the age of 14. Now, over 35 years later, he’s a celebrated soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and conductor. 

A bestiary in the Middle Ages was a book of illustrations of animals, each accompanied by a moral lesson.   Sir James MacMillan’s musical bestiary for organ and orchestra is informed by his Scottish background, different musical traditions, and a sharp sense of social satire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

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.

Are you a basic romantic, a starry-eyed sweetheart, a cranky curmudgeon, or a wizened veteran of love's enduring themes? Let’s hear from you! What concerto, song, movement, or jazz riff pulls on your heartstrings On Wednesday, February 14th we’re devoting our regular jazz and classical request hours to YOUR Valentine’s Day favorites. Tell us what they are! 

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