Creatively Speaking

Creatively Speaking
1:36 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Jazz in a Historic Philadelphia Neighborhood: Sol Unlimited Summer Concert Series

This summer's Sol Unlimited Concert Series is on Tuesday nights at the Morris Estates Cultural Center in West Oak Lane

A summer jazz series is once again showcasing music in a historic Philadelphia neighborhood. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it’s the second season for the concerts, presented by Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts.

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Creatively Speaking
12:24 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The American Pianist Who Rocked Russia for Decades

Van Cliburn in a ticker-tape parade in 1958 after winning the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. He's the only musician to ever receive a ticker-tape parade tribute in New York City.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 would have been the 80th birthday of celebrated American pianist Van Cliburn,  who died in 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his 1958 win in the Soviet Union’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition was a welcome sign of warmth in the midst of Cold War tensions.

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Creatively Speaking
12:05 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Yannick Conducts His Alma Mater Choir...and The Philadelphia Orchestra!

Westminster Symphonic Choir

Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey is an epicenter for excellence in choral music. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, one of Westminster’s choirs can be heard on WRTI on Sunday, July 13 at 1 pm, conducted by a now very well-known alum of the school.

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Revisiting Beethoven's Symphonies with Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Marco Borggreve

The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a two-year cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, although known to generations of music lovers, these great works continue to provide insights into Western musical heritage.

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

The Musical Treasure Trove At The Library Of Congress

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) at work in his apartment in NYC in 1947.
Photographic proof by Victor Kraft Library of Congress

A manuscript of a J.S. Bach cantata casts a new light on how Bach intended the piece to be played. A singer gains insight from a line in a Porgy and Bess manuscript that differs from the final lyrics. The Music Division of the massive Library of Congress in Washington, DC,  is a place where performers, composers, scholars and the general public make discoveries of the musical kind.

Case in point: in a series of letters written in 1957 to his wife Felicia, while she was visiting her family in Santiago, Chile, Leonard Bernstein faithfully chronicles the progress of West Side Story during the final weeks of rehearsal through the show’s out-of-town opening in Washington, D.C.  The letters reveal Bernstein’s changing emotions about the show from frustration and agony to his final state of euphoria.  In addition to comments about West Side Story, Bernstein writes about signing his contract as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, his upcoming thirty-ninth birthday, and how much he misses Felicia and their children, Jamie and Alexander. Read the letters here.

The Special Collections of the Music Division are truly fascinating and constitute a resource for musical scholarship that is unmatched anywhere in the world. These unique bodies of materials are extraordinarily vast and diverse, yet very much interrelated. They include some of the greatest treasures of the Music Division and the Library of Congress.

Creatively Speaking
2:31 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

A Python Set Loose In The London Coliseum

Tenor Michael Spyres sings the title role in Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini.

Monty Python meets opera? That’s exactly what’s happened in London last week where the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns saw how smart vulgar humor can be.

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Creatively Speaking
2:27 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

PAFA Celebrates African American Art

Alma Woodsey Thomas, WIND AND FLOWERS, 1973, watercolor on paper, 14 1/2 x 18 in, The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts now has a two-part exhibition of works on paper by African American artists. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the works on view represent a wide range of explorations in this medium.

In his essay "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," the great academic and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois argued that true equality for African Americans would ultimately have to also include an end to cultural isolation. This latest PAFA exhibition takes its title from that 1903 essay published in Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk.

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Creatively Speaking
1:49 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

The President's Own: The United States Marine Band

President George W. Bush led the U.S. Marine Corps Band at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in 2008.

One of the most prominent bands in nation, and the country's oldest, continuously active musical organization, is frequently heard on WRTI's weekday 7:15 am Sousalarm. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston shares a glimpse of the U.S. Marine Band.

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Creatively Speaking
10:54 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Frank Gehry's Plan for the Transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Iconic Building

In architect Frank Gehry's master plan, the heart of the Museum will be opened up, creating a clear sight line through the ground-floor and first-floor galleries that will greatly simplify wayfinding.

After more than a decade of planning, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is unveiling a blueprint for a major, multi-phase renovation and expansion designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the transformation of the iconic structure will be nearly invisible from the outside. 

Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art opens July 1st and runs through September 1st.

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Creatively Speaking
10:36 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Painter Benjamin West: A Colonial-Age Art Superstar

Benjamin West in a portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1783-1784.

Born in 1738 in a village just outside Philadelphia, Benjamin West was one of the first Americans to achieve superstar status on the international art scene.  However, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter Reports, West’s success came not at home, but abroad.

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