Susan Lewis

Arts & Culture Reporter

Susan is an arts and culture reporter for WRTI. She contributes Arts Desk features, and weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast series on WRTI with host Gregg Whiteside.

She is also a freelance essayist, journalist, and speechwriter who has written about Philadelphia for Insight Guides and Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation's Culture Files.  A former columnist for Philadelphia Magazine, she is the author of Reinventing Ourselves after Motherhood and a book of essays. Her work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Child Magazine, Parents Magazine, Reader's Digest and Ladies' Home Journal (Parents Digest).

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Susan is also a lawyer, with a B.A. in Philosophy from Trinity College, Connecticut, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She has practiced law in New York City and taught entertainment law at Rutgers Law School in Camden.

Ways to Connect

A small group of musicians from The Philadelphia Orchestra are organizing a chamber music concert to benefit local Syrian refugees on May 7th at 6 pm at the Philadelphia Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square.

A melody in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony was made famous to fans of Eric Carmen’s pop tune “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again.” But in the symphony, that melody leads to one of the most beautiful, and difficult, clarinet solos in the literature. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has the story.

The great Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25th, 1917, and died in 1996. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, "The Queen of Jazz" - also called "The First Lady of Song," left a lasting legacy on American song and jazz.

The second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7—the Allegretto—has captivated listeners since the symphony’s 1813 premiere, when it was so popular that the orchestra used it as an encore. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on why this particular movement continues to engages us.

By Office of Emergency Management [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Four Philadelphia Orchestra brass players routinely sit together in the back of the orchestra. But for a new work by Jennifer Higdon, they all move to the front of the stage—as soloists and chamber musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with the quartet and composer about the surprising sounds we don't often hear from the low brass.



The first book printed in North America was a book of psalms; they were brought to life by a vocal quartet and musicology graduate student Emma Schnell Barnaby in a lunchtime performance and conversation with WRTI's Susan Lewis on Tuesday, March 20th. Check out their concert at the Rosenbach Museum and Library on April 19th at 6 pm. 

The New York Music Co., New York, 1908, monographic. Source: Library of Congress

Fans at baseball games across America have been singing the same song during the seventh-inning stretch for decades. If you're in the stands, nothing beats the fun of belting out that tune everyone knows, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

Steak sizzling on a grill at Pat's King of Steaks. A chorus of birdsong at the Philadelphia Zoo. These are just a few of the hundreds of sounds composer Tod Machover collected from people who live here for a unique musical profile being performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra on April 5, 6, and 7 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

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