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.
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.
Once named by TheEconomist 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.
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.
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.
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.
Among Mozart’s hundreds of compositions are 27 piano concertos. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the young pianist Jan Lisiecki, who is making his mark today, is drawn to their musical purity, emotional complexity, and sense of fun.
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.
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.
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: