David Patrick Stearns

Arts Reporter

David Patrick Stearns is classical music critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer and a contributing arts reporter for WRTI. He received his master's degree in musicology from New York University while working as music and theater critic for USA Today. He wrote the documentary film David Amram: The First 80 Years and is currently at work on two other documentaries. He is a frequent recording reviewer for the London-based magazine Gramophone. He is also a contributor to Opera News, The Guardian and Obit-Mag.com

David Patrick Stearns


TEL AVIV. Israelis aren’t known for ovations at orchestra concerts. Rhythmic clapping is usually as close as audiences come, and the Philadelphia Orchestra received that plus an extremely rare standing ovation at Charles Bronfman Auditorium following Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 on Monday, June 4th.

Jan Regan/The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra's assistant conductor Kensho Watanabe conducted Leonard Bernstein's Candide overture in an afternoon "Side-by-Side" concert on June 4th consisting of some 19 members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, a handful from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and students from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra.

HAIFA, Israel. As the unofficial cease-fire between Israel and Hamas showed signs of unraveling Sunday, the Philadelphia Orchestra played the first of three concerts on the Israel leg of its 2018 tour, in Haifa, a sunny mountainside city of nearly 300,000, the population a mix of Arabs and Jews.

Jan Regan/The Philadelphia Orchestra

With the challenges of pro-Palestinian protests facing the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2018 Tour of Europe and Israel, could anybody have foreseen the latest obstacle? Displacement from the tour hotel by Vladimir Putin?


Jan Regan / Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra is back from its debut in Mongolia, where planned full-orchestra concerts needed to be canceled due to a nation-wide financial crisis. Instead, a contingent of 18 musicians spent two days in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Now, the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks what this could lead to.

Credit: Matthew Murphy

Benj Pasek (an Ardmore native) and Justin Paul—best friends from their days at the University of Michigan—won a 2017 Academy Award for writing the lyrics to the song "City of Stars" from the hit film La La Land. They're also Golden Globe winners! And now... they can add Tony awards to the mantle, including the 2017 Tony for Best Musical.

Mark Garvin

The classic Broadway musical Gypsy is back, this time at the Arden Theatre through June 25th with Philly favorite Mary Martello in the role of Mama Rose. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns asks why this character is forever fascinating.


An 18-member contingent from the Philadelphia Orchestra is going to Mongolia June 2nd through the 4th. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports on the preparations as part of its Far East tour to China and South Korea.


Credit: Timmy Chooi

For the first time since 1999, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra is on a multi-city, 18-day tour of Europe—opening May 20th in Helsinki and continuing through Berlin, London, Salzburg, and Vienna among others—led by conductor Osmo Vanska.

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