Creatively Speaking

Creatively Speaking
11:18 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Sondheim's Sensational Songs At The Arden

Sondheim in 1964, in rehearsal for Anyone Can Whistle

Along with jazz and motion pictures, musical theater is one of the 20th century’s great American artistic creations. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, a masterwork by one of Broadway’s master craftsman is getting a makeover in Philadelphia.

Though musical theater created outside the U.S. is often re-imported - think Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh - many of the most enduring works in the genre come from a theater artist who has been practicing his craft for longer than these two British composers have been alive. 

Stephen Sondheim first came to international attention as the lyricist for West Side Story, but it is the works he created on his own in the decades since that have endured. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, and A Little Night Music. The Arden Theatre Company closes its 25th season with Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, which runs through June 30, 2013.

Hear more of Jim’s interview with Eric Ebbenga, music director at the Arden Theatre.

Where Music Lives
3:15 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Where Music Lives: Jazz and History At Cliveden

Cliveden is located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, was built between 1763 to 1767 by Benjamin Chew.

Music lives in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, at a site rich with American history. WRTI’s Susan Lewis explores Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts at Cliveden. The summer music series kicks off this month on June 19th, or "Juneteenth," a holiday celebrating African American freedom from slavery. Each program features a variety of jazz styles, says producer Serena Sol Brown, including standards as well as original pieces.

Listen to more of Susan’s interview with Serena Sol Brown and Cliveden's Erica Chase.

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Creatively Speaking
7:43 am
Tue June 4, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra in China: Greeted Like Rock Stars!

Flute player Lu Chunling, who performed at the Arrival Ceremony at the Shanghai Pudong Airport, presents flowers to Orchestra violinist Davyd Booth, one of the original Orchestra members to have been part of the 1973 Tour of China.
Jan Regan

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns is traveling with The Philadelphians in China.

Celebrations of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 40th anniversary tour to China have begun with the kind of fanfare usually associated with rock stars. Upon landing at the Shanghai airport for a two-week tour, the jet-lagged musicians were greeted by TV camera crews and key figures from the original visit, including a 92-year-old Chinese flutist who had composed a new piece for the occasion. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports from China.

Creatively Speaking
1:54 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

A Nomadic Conductor Leads Philadelphia Orchestra In China

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s current China trip is both a celebration of the 40th anniversary of its first tour to that country, and a new kind of overseas engagement. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the 2013 tour and residency is being led by a conductor with a reputation for innovation both on and off the podium.

Hear more from Jim Cotter's interview with conductor Donald Runnicles.


Where Music Lives
8:26 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Where Music Lives: At LaRose Jazz Club and Wherever You Find Tony Williams

Tony Williams

Music lives at LaRose Jazz Club in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. That's where sax player and local jazz legend Tony Williams has a steady Monday night gig. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston spends time with Tony Williams - now in his 80s - and finds out how this mainstay of the Philadelphia jazz scene keeps it fresh today and pursues his vision for tomorrow.

For over 35 years, Williams' Mount Airy Cultural Center has built a bridge to the next generation - through jazz. The 2013 Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival is scheduled for Friday August 30th to Monday September 2nd.

Listen to a more detailed interview with Tony Williams and find out about his take on jazz, life, and giving back.

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Creatively Speaking
6:17 am
Tue May 28, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra Wraps the Season: Yannick Looks Back

Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Chris Lee

The Philadelphia Orchestra has wrapped up its first subscription season under the leadership of its eighth music director. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more from Yannick Nezet-Seguin on the musical and non-musical achievements of the season. In September, Yannick will open the next season with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony - the start of a two-year cycle during which the orchestra will perform all of Beethoven’s symphonies. Information about subscriptions to the upcoming Philadelphia Orchestra season.

Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin talks with Susan Lewis about his first season as music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Creatively Speaking
8:13 am
Mon May 27, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra in China: Part One

Maestro Eugene Ormandy at the Great Wall of China in 1973, during the Orchestra's first visit to China.

For the eighth time in its history, The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing in China. Like last year, the focus is on residencies where the Orchestra becomes part of the community playing impromptu concerts in public places, and having joint rehearsals and concerts with the local orchestras. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns is traveling with the Philadelphians and files this report.

Creatively Speaking
8:11 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Runaway Goat Cart, c. 1939–42. Bill Traylor, American, c. 1853–1949. Opaque watercolor and graphite on cream card, (Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection)


The term "outsider art" came into use in the early 1970s from a French description for unrefined art. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the preferred term today is “self-taught,” and a single collection of such work is the focus of a major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that runs through June 9th.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art's Curator of Drawings Ann Percy, curator of Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, speaks with Jim Cotter.

Creatively Speaking
7:24 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Today's Classical Music Stars: Way Beyond the Music

Violinist Hilary Hahn

Classical music soloists must spend a lot of time practicing their instruments. But some stars are connecting with fans in ways beyond the concert hall. WRTI’s Susan Lewis spoke with pianist Jonathan Biss and violinist Hilary Hahn.

WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra concert broadcast on May 26th featured Jonathan Biss playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 13. On June 2nd, WRTI's concert broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra includes Hilary Hahn playing Korngold's Violin Concerto.

Jonathan Biss discusses his activities beyond the concert hall with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

Jonathan Biss's website and online "writings."

Hilary Hahn's "By Hilary" section of her website.

Creatively Speaking
1:40 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Conductor Donald Runnicles: No Prodigal Son

The renowned British conductor Donald Runnicles is the conductor for this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra concert broadcast on WRTI. Scottish-born and raised, Runnicles left his native land very early in his career. And as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, he has happily “settled” wherever the muse has taken him.

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