Arts Desk

Throughout the week

Listen to WRTI's Arts Desk features for a daily look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Listen to brief features throughout the day!

Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018

Edward Hopper’s 1962 painting, Road and Trees, now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, finds musical expression in a new work for chamber orchestra, which Network for New Music premieres Sunday, July 22 at the PMA. Composer Pierre Jalbert talked with WRTI’s Susan Lewis about his three-movement piece for woodwinds, strings, and percussion: Light, Line, Shadow.

Dayne Topkin/Unsplash

A group of high school girls are spending two weeks this July on the Temple University campus, immersing themselves in the world of music composition. They're taking classes in music theory, ear training, and composition of orchestral scores and songs, using electronic as well as acoustic music.

Jennifer Higdon’s concerto, On a Wire, was inspired by images of birds, as well as the innovative versatility of the musicians of Eighth Blackbird, the contemporary soloist ensemble. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Julian Hargreaves

Described by critics as “preternaturally gifted," and his music “spellbinding," violinist Ray Chen performs all over the world. He's also distinguishing himself off the concert stage with over 100 YouTube videos ranging from zany comedy to a motivational series.

In correspondence with a patron, Tchaikovsky confessed he was grappling with the idea of fate in his Symphony No. 4. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the composer tried to make sense of his world with music that still resonates today. Listen to her conversation with Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Becca Fay

Puccini’s opera Tosca has all the elements of a grand melodrama, including overwhelming passion, torture, and murder. But the character of Tosca is also very human, says the soprano who sings the title role in several recent and upcoming productions. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

As we remember our War of Independence from Great Britain, you might be surprised to know that Americans deployed a surprising secret weapon—music. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder has more.

June 26, 2018. Georg Philipp Telemann’s three surviving “concerto-suites” are collected in a marvelous recording by Philadelphia’s own Tempesta di Mare.  The ensemble’s newest release, Georg Philipp Telemann: The Concerti-en-Suite, makes a winning case in favor of a composer deserving of more attention.

An instrument dating from ancient times, the flute turned out to be the ideal voice to express what was in the heart and mind of composer Samuel Jones. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on his Flute Concerto, premiered this season by The Philadelphia Orchestra.

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