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

When WRTI Jazz Host Bob Perkins talks about one of his all-time favorite pianists, what does he call him?  The Wonderful Wizard of OZcar!  One of the great jazz pianists of all time, master of the keyboard Oscar Peterson, said he was intimidated by jazz pianist Art Tatum and admired Nat King Cole. But "O.P.," as his friends called him, was a magician who followed his own muse.


As we celebrate the legacy of jazz pianist Bill Evans, you might be surprised to know that some cool cats named Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and especially—Johann Sebastian Bach—helped shape his sound.

The Mystery of Music as an Art Form

Aug 13, 2017
Credit: Jeff Herman

Music can be mysterious, even to those who spend their lives creating it. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, composer Christopher Rouse ponders the profound power of music with his concerto for organ and orchestra.

What’s it like growing up aiming for a classical concert career? WRTI’s Susan Lewis asked a young Canadian pianist Thomas Torok how he manages the music, excitement, and competition.  

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.

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