Creatively Speaking

Creatively Speaking
7:12 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Renaissance Man, Pianist Stephen Hough, Explores "The Night" in His New CD

Once named by The Economist magazine as one  of the world’s 20 living polymaths, pianist Stephen Hough pursues a variety of  interests, from music to poetry to painting. In 2001 he became the first classical music performer to win the prestigious MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this versatile artist, and his most recent CD.

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Creatively Speaking
12:31 pm
Tue June 17, 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
12:28 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Ouch! The Mortal Misstep Of The Sun King's Composer

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the influential French Baroque composer/conductor in the court of Louis XIV, had an unusual demise. Some conductors in the Baroque era conducted with rolled up scores.

Falling off the podium or into the orchestra pit weren’t the occupational hazards befalling French Baroque composer Jean-Baptiste Lully - but his was no less risky. Temple University Professor Steven Zohn, an expert in Baroque music, recounts the conducting move that led to Lully’s death.

Zohn says Lully, who first came to the attention of King Louis XIV as a dancer, profited from his relationship with the monarch - and his power over the musical facets of the royal court became wider and wider. 

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Creatively Speaking
12:21 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

A Master Percussionist Nurturing the Next Generation

Percussionist Alan Abel

This week, percussion students from the U.S. and countries as far away as Argentina and Asia are gathering at Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance for a seminar led by a former Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist.  As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, Alan Abel continues year round to share his talents as a musician and craftsman.

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Creatively Speaking
3:54 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Rocky Wins Again!

ROCKY, THE MUSICAL is now on Broadway at NYC's Winter Garden Theatre.

After six films made over 30 years, the mythical Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa has graduated to Broadway, with Rocky, the Musical, which last week won a Tony Award. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns says the old underdog is perfectly recognizable on the Winter Garden Theatre stage. But much else has changed.

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Creatively Speaking
6:20 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Ocean City Pops Are Back For Summer!

As summer approaches, WRTI's Jim Cotter takes us down the shore to the Ocean City Music Pier. There have been concerts on the music pier since 1929, when it hosted performances by the new Municipal Orchestra. Since then, what is today the Ocean City Pops, has operated under a variety of names and conductors. In 1987, the orchestra appointed a new music director; William (Bill) Scheible has led the Pops since then.

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Very Political Ludwig van Beethoven

The second movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 is "kind of a march," says Christoph von Dohnanyi, "in respect for all the victims who suffered by Napoleon's attacks."

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote his seventh symphony in the midst of Napoleon’s attempts to conquer Europe. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work, and its second movement in particular, is a tribute to freedom. Here, the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta, performs:

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

A Ballerina's Pointe-Shoe Paradise!

The Rosin Box

The artistry and athleticism of the ballet dancer can soar with a well-fitting pointe shoe. On a given weekend, members of three generations of the Jenkins family might be on the scene at The Rosin Box, a jewel-like shop on Sansom Street in Philadelphia, just a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square, where ballet slippers and pointe shoes are sold - and, where music lives.

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Creatively Speaking
4:29 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians "At Play" on their Asia Tour

The Philadelphia Orchestra's "Team Firebird" about to challenge the baseball team from the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s current 2014 tour of Asia and Japan has been rough and tumble enough with moldering halls in remote Chinese capitals and residency activities amid challenging acoustics and blistering heat. Is that what drives some of them to jump off the top of the 700-foot Macau Tower? The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports what orchestra members are going to some extremes to get a break from night after night of concerts.

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Creatively Speaking
3:53 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Violinist Nikolaj Znaider's Beethoven Odyssey

Ludwig van Beethoven tried certain musical forms only once. One opera, one violin concerto, was all he wrote.

Violinist Nikolaj Znaider says he spent years preparing to take on, what he says is, one of the most difficult pieces for his instrument. It took age, and its attendant personal and artistic growth, for him to get beyond what he describes as "mere graphical representation of the music, those black dots on white paper."

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