Music lives in Center City, Philadelphia, home of Play On, Philly!, a program modeled after Venezuela’s El Sistema, in which underserved children are taught to play classical music. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the program is as much about social change as it is about music. On Giving Tuesday, your pledge to WRTI will be matched by an anonymous donor in support of Play On, Philly! Pledge Here, and thanks so much!
In a quaint, historic building on Philadelphia’s Locust Street, just a few doors down from the Curtis Institute of Music, David Michie restores and sells violins and bows, drawing virtuoso musicians from far and wide. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston paid a visit to this master craftsman.
Master violin restorer and dealer David Michie recounts how renowned French archetier (the French term for bow maker) Eugene Sartory policed the market for counterfeits of his work. Michie also provides some advice on choosing a bow in these excerpts of an interview with Meridee Duddleston.
Michie has much to say about the importance of a high-quality bow. "What the Italians were to string instruments, the French were to bows," he explains. In the 1800s, large blocks of wood from the pernambuco tree were used as ballast in ships making their way from Brazil to France. And Francois Tourte, who developed the modern bow and is considered the “Stradavarius of bow makers,” took to the wood and started using it. Pernambuco is now an endangered species whose export is restricted. Although carbon fiber and other substitutes are now in the mix, Michie says nothing beats a bow made of pernambuco wood from Brazil.
The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters presented WRTI with two awards on May 5th at their annual luncheon. Senior Arts and Culture Producer Susan Lewis, and Station Manager Bill Johnson, accepted the awards on behalf of the station at the Hershey Hotel.
Few smallish New Jersey towns have major orchestras, choruses and chamber music performances. But music lives in Princeton: and in many guises, as the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns now reports.
Music lives at Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the college's Westminster Symphonic Choir has, for almost 90 years, been performing with the world's foremost orchestras under some legendary conductors, including Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini and Bruno Walter, and more recently with a college alum who is among the foremost of his generation.
Music lives in Ocean Grove, NJ. Where else could you come in from the beach and hear an organ recital during the day, and opera arias at night? No wonder Ocean Grove's Great Auditorium, with its soaring ceiling and electrified American flag, has iconic status. Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns saw lingering Hurricane Sandy damage that's still being repaired and without any help from FEMA.
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.
Dave and Angela Jenkins opened this niche business in 1977, and it has remained family-owned and operated since. Their son Len Jenkins spoke with WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston about this facet of dance that contributes to the beauty we see on the stage.
More from Len Jenkins of The Rosin Box on the family business, pointe shoes and first-time fits.
There's music on South Broad Street - and not just in concert halls. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Wilma Theater is home to BalletX, a company that continues to use music and dance to push the boundaries of classical forms.
Listen to Susan's interview with Christine Cox, co-artistic and executive director of BalletX.
BalletX's fall series at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia runs from November 20th to November 24th, and features three world premieres by Adam Barruch, Gabrielle Lamb, and Matthew Neenan. Details here.
Music lives in West Philadelphia, where diverse audiences experience classical music and more in an intimate setting. WRTI’s Susan Lewis investigates LiveConnections, which conducts programs at World Café Live.