Arts Desk

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

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.

September 3, 2018. Vocalist Sachal Vasandani has proven himself to be the king of “not-so-standard standards.” His ability to interpret, and breathe life into underutilized lyrics have made him a standout in the jazz scene. Shadow Train is Sachal, once again, doing what he does best. The killer band just adds to his splendor.

Opera star Renée Fleming sang the Irish ballad "Danny Boy" at the memorial service for the late U.S. Sen. John McCain on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Senator McCain, who died August 25 of brain cancer, asked that Ms. Fleming sing the song at his memorial service, which will took place at the Washington National Cathedral.

August 27, 2018. Nineteen-year old British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has been riding a media wave since winning the BBC Young Musician competition in 2016. Millions watched his performance this past May at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Sheku’s debut recording, Inspiration, released earlier this year by London-Decca, is our album of the week.

August 27, 2018.  Karrin Allyson has long been known for her on point phrasing, and her impeccable treatment of standards.  But here, on her new release Some of That Sunshine, its her originals that are the main attraction, along with some amazing guest artists.  Drummer Jeff Jennings makes a cameo on a few tunes, along with violinist Regina Carter, and saxophonist Houston Person.

The Timpanist Who Was Leonard Bernstein's Go-To Baton Expert

Aug 26, 2018
Henry Grossman; Courtesy of Bernice Horowitz

When Leonard Bernstein’s baton broke during a rehearsal of Candide in the early 1970s, who was summoned to repair it? Richard Horowitz, who at the time was principal timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

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