Creatively Speaking

Creatively Speaking
2:07 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Exploring PA's Historic Coal-Mining Culture...Through Song

Composer Julia Wolfe's ANTHRACITE FIELDS is a Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia commision.

The Mendelssohn Club Choir is mounting its biggest-ever production later this month with the premiere of Anthracite Fields by the cutting-edge composer Julia Wolfe, who is exploring the coal-mining culture in her Pennsylvania roots. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns met with her...inside a coal mine. 

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Creatively Speaking
5:20 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Did the Cabaret Tax Kill Big Bands?

The Cotton Club, New York City

In 1944 big dance bands were  all the rage.  They were so popular that to gain additional revenue for World War II,  a 30 percent "cabaret tax" was enforced on the gross receipts of any "public place where music and dancing privileges...except instrumental or mechanical music alone,  are afforded the patrons in connection with the serving or selling of food, refreshment, or merchandise."

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Creatively Speaking
9:56 am
Mon April 14, 2014

The Beloved Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song

Ella Fitzgerald recorded more than 200 albums in her lifetime.

The great Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25th, 1917, and died in 1996; she would have turned 98 next week. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, "The Queen of Jazz" - also called "The First Lady of Song," left a lasting legacy on American song and jazz.

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Creatively Speaking
8:45 am
Mon April 14, 2014

The Don Is Back!

Opera Philadelphia's production of Mozart's DON GIOVANNI opens on April 25 at the Academy of Music.

Don Juan, one of fiction's most infamous scoundrels, returns to the opera stage in Philadelphia next week.  As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, Opera Philadelphia's latest production is also a showcase for singers who learned their craft in the city.

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Creatively Speaking
8:44 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Taking Jazz to Spiritual Settings

The Jazz Sanctuary at Gloria Dei Church in South Philly.

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.

The Jazz Sanctuary presents concerts open to the public at houses of worship and other non-profit venues. Information about upcoming concerts.

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Creatively Speaking
9:45 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

A Jam-Packed Jazz Celebration in Center City

This year's Center City Jazz Festival takes place at Chris' Jazz Cafe, Fergie's Pub, Milkboy Philadelphia, and TIME Restaurant.

The third annual Center City Jazz Festival is coming up on Saturday, April 19th  There are 16 bands performing in a six-hour period, in four venues in downtown Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

The festival warms up on Friday, April 11th at Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Creatively Speaking
3:49 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

It's Official! The City Of Philadelphia Appreciates Jazz

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

All across the country, April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). In Philadelphia, JAM's month-long series of concerts, workshops, and events - including the Center City Jazz Festival - culminates on April 30th, which is Jazz Appreciation Day.

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Creatively Speaking
3:27 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Poulenc's Aubade: A Still-Unique Choreographic Concerto

French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

In 1929, an unusual work by a versatile 20th-century French composer premiered at the home of his wealthy patrons. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this piece, still unique in the classical repertoire, is part piano concerto and part ballet, in a chamber music setting.

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Creatively Speaking
12:45 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

An Orchestra Musician Who Has Seen Them All

Herbert Light holds the Larry A. Grika Chair in the first violin section of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Since its founding in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has had four music directors whose tenures have lasted more than a decade. Today, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, there is one member of the ensemble who has played under all of these great conductors.

When violinist Herbert Light won his audition for the Orchestra in 1961, it was his second job offer in a week.

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Creatively Speaking
8:56 am
Mon April 7, 2014

American Audiences Missing Out On Many Great Performers

Pianist Eric Le Sage

Over the past decade or so, it has become increasingly difficult for overseas musicians without well-established reputations in the U.S. to get permission to travel here for work. However, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, when a powerhouse such as The Philadelphia Orchestra wants a particular soloist, they usually get their man, or woman.

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