Arts Desk

Check out stories by WRTI arts reporters Meridee Duddleston, Susan Lewis,  Debra Lew Harder, and Maureen Malloy. Arts Desk and Arts News Submission Guidelines

September 24, 2018. Ever since Leonard Bernstein introduced him to televeision audiences as a 7-year-old prodigy, cellist Yo-Yo Ma has captured the public’s imagination over a 50-plus year career. From concert stage appearances, to Sesame Street, to American Presidential inaugurations, Yo-Yo Ma is a shining presence everywhere. Our album of the week showcases why.

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.

Peter Ralston

If you think of Andrew Wyeth primarily as a realist landscape painter who bucked the trends of the mid 20th-century art world, get ready to meet the artist anew.  The documentary film WYETH sheds new light on his life and art, through conversations with the people he knew as family, neighbors and subjects, and archival interviews with the artist himself. 

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

America was celebrating its bicentennial when Michael Tilson Thomas first became intrigued by a Carl Sandburg poem. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, nearly 40 years later,  he premiered his musical setting of  Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind with a cautionary message still relevant today.


Jordan August/Mann Center for the Performing Arts

It's football season! We're excited to watch the plays on the field from the snaps to the passes to the touchdowns. Football also means music. WRTI's Susan Lewis went to NFL Films in Mount Laurel, NJ to get the scoop about how football films use the rich sound of orchestral music to help tell their stories.

September 10, 2018. A happy and healthy New Year to all our listeners celebrating the Jewish High Holidays! And for ALL our listeners, here’s our delightful Album of the Week: Between Worlds with Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital.

Avital is acclaimed for his recordings of Baroque classical masters J.S. Bach and Vivaldi. Between Worlds, released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2014, is something entirely different.

Klezmer music so beautifully expresses the joys and pains of life. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder takes us into its rich world and heritage with Klezmer scholar and musician Hankus Netsky. A Happy and Healthy New Year to all of our listeners celebrating the Jewish High Holidays!

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.


One of classical music’s biggest stars—violinist Joshua Bell—returns to music that touched his soul when he was very young. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it was music worth violating curfew for at summer camp.


September 3, 2018. When was the last time you heard the sound of the solo flute, without accompaniment of any kind for an entire album? Monotonous? On the contrary, The Telemann Files, with flutist Jasmine Choi captivates the listener from start to finish. Her 2015 release of the complete Fantasias for Solo Flute by Georg Philipp Telemann is our Album of the Week.

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