Susan Lewis

Arts & Culture Senior Producer

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

Summer is a great time to read, watch movies, and listen to great soundtracks. WRTI Flix@5 Host Kevin Gordon talks with Susan Lewis about the movie music he's featuring during our special Book-to-Film week, July 6th through the 10th. Join us each day after the 5:00 news for Flix@5!

How does music help us find our identity and also bring people together with different backgrounds? Candace Allen—a contributor to the BBC and The Guardian, and author of Soul Music: The Pulse of Race and Music—shares her thoughts on recent events, and how music can respond, in a conversation with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

Michael Ozersky/Getty Images

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) composed music in a turbulent political climate where Soviet authorities alternately praised and condemned his work. He kept his first violin concerto in a drawer for seven years until the time was right for its performance in 1955. 

June 29, 2020. It’s impossible not to smile when you encounter the opera star, soprano Angel Blue, whether you’re caught up in the emotion or the humor of a song she’s singing, watching her breathe life into a character onstage, or chatting with her about finding joy everywhere she goes.

Wikipedia Commons

Bach's Mass in B minor is a testament to a lifetime of work by the "King of Baroque"—but the masterpiece is not a typical Mass in scope or compositional history.

Joseph Conyers is acting associate principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra, founder and executive director of Project 440, and music director of Philadelphia's All-City Orchestra. He spoke with WRTI's Susan Lewis about guiding young musicians in ways to deal with these difficult times. 

Professional trumpet player, educator, advocate, and arts leader Stanford Thompson is founder and executive director of Play On, Philly, which teaches hundreds of children in underserved communities to play classical music in orchestral settings.

Courtesy of Jeri Lynne Johnson

In 2008, African-American conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson founded Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble of classically trained musicians from diverse cultures and ethnicities as a model for the 21st century. She shared with WRTI's Susan Lewis her thoughts about the possibilities for change in classical music culture.


Prolific film composer Michel Legrand wrote "The Summer Knows," the theme for the film Summer of '42, which won an Academy Award in 1971 for Best Original Dramatic Score. The theme song won a Grammy the same year for Best Instrumental Composition and became a standard recorded by a variety of artists. Watch these videos of the song, showing the music’s enduring and wide-ranging appeal across musical genres.

Wikipedia Commons

Violinist Gil Shaham became enthralled by Beethoven's Violin Concerto as a child. Years later, he's still moved by its power. 

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