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

April 19, 2021. The Grammy-winning Catalyst Quartet uncovers music and the stories of the people who wrote it in its new recording series, UNCOVERED. The first volume focuses on music by late 19th-century English composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Credit: Jeff Herman

Music can be mysterious, even to those who spend their lives creating it. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the late composer Christopher Rouse pondered the profound power of music with his concerto for organ and orchestra.

Courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association Archives

During the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976 in the People's Republic of China, Western classical music all but disappeared from Chinese cultural life. The Philadelphia Orchestra's trailblazing 1973 trip to China helped turn that around. Led by Music Director Eugene Ormandy, and part of a larger plan of cross-cultural exchange, the tour planted the seeds for a relationship between China and the Orchestra that has grown and blossomed in the last three decades.

Courtesy of Daniel Matsukawa

A new video features 11 original musical works by young composers spanning a range of styles and visuals—reflections from the year of the pandemic, including loss, grief, love, and hope for renewal. Created by Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Bassoonist Daniel Matsukawa in association with Musical Mentors Collaborative (MMC), the project also invites new submissions; it’s all part of an effort to help us connect and find our way through times of turmoil.

Bill DeCecca

The recorder is a great introduction to early music, which is one reason why Piffaro, The Renaissance Band is resurrecting its Recorder Fest for students online on Sunday, April 18th at 7 PM, which will include performances of two past winners and three finalists from the 2020 competition.

Wikimedia Commons, Artist Unknown

In the mid-19th century, there were few performance opportunities for large-scale works by women composers. Today, a symphony composed in the 1840s by French pianist, teacher and composer Louise Farrenc is finally getting well-deserved attention on the concert stage in Philadelphia.

Getty Images/Libray of Congress

The success of “Mack the Knife,” composed in 1928, and other popular music written by 20th-century German-Jewish composer Kurt Weill overshadowed his orchestral and classical work. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on his second symphony, and why it was not heard for decades.

Courtesy of the artists

Oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz and bassoonist Monica Ellis have been making music together throughout the world as members of the woodwind quintet Imani Winds since its founding in 1997. In this TIME IN interview, Monica and Toyin talk about how they've navigated the pandemic with music and related online activities, gardening, family time, and planning for the future.

Sergei Rachmaninoff was born in Russia on April 1st, 1873. Now, 130 years later, watch this beautiful music video rendition of his Vocalise, played by internationally renowned and Philadelphia-based concert pianist Ching-Yun Hu, and recorded in the WRTI Performance Studio.

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