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

February 22, 2021. BRUITS, a new album by the trailblazing woodwind quintet Imani Winds, tackles issues of race and social justice with three contemporary works by Reena Esmail, Frederic Rzewski, and Vijay Iyer, composer of the title work. 

Max Barrett

A visionary with seemingly boundless energy, pianist Lara Downes is clearing new paths in the classical music landscape, expanding minds and spurring social change.

February 8, 2021. As we head towards Valentine's Day, we turn to a new recording of a great American love story. The cast album of the Metropolitan Opera's 2019 production of Porgy and Bess, starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles, is up for a 2020 Grammy and is our Classical Album of the Week.

Getty Images/Bettmann

It's Black History Month, and on WRTI we're looking closely at bandleader, composer, and pianist Duke Ellington, who wrote over 1,700 songs, as well as longer orchestral suites and film scores. In this interview from 2013, WRTI's Susan Lewis speaks with biographer and blogger Terry Teachout, author of Duke, A Life of Duke Ellington.

Rollo Dilworth pours his heart into teaching, conducting, and writing music for choral singers—and the choral music world loves him back. Typically logging over 100,000 miles a year, he travels the world to conduct and work with choirs of all ages. In this TIME IN interview, he talks about how the shutdown has reinforced his purpose in life, to use music to bring people together and promote social justice.

Russell Frost

February 1, 2021. A collection of classical music written by African-American women over the last century is a jewel—an example of the depth and range of compositions that lie waiting to be discovered. As we begin Black History Month, Soulscapes is our Classical Album of the Week. First released in 2006, its message persists in 2021, awakening us to artists too long overlooked.

Courtesy of Lawrence Brownlee

Acclaimed for his astonishing range and expressiveness in opera, concert performances, and recitals, tenor Lawrence Brownlee’s many honors include being named the International Opera Awards' “Male Singer of the Year” in 2017.  In this TIME IN interview, Larry talks about life during the pandemic—he's been busy with family, sports, his own interview show, and creating new works with Opera Philadelphia to share the joy of opera with more people.

Among Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s hundreds of compositions are 27 piano concertos.  In 2014, WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with the young pianist Jan Lisiecki about why he is so drawn to their musical purity, emotional complexity, and sense of fun.

Ryan Donnell

Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim, who has played Bruch’s First Violin Concerto as soloist many times, has his own routine to prepare for a performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Jacqueline Smith

Philadelphia composer Kile Smith's many works have been earning him increasing accolades, with recordings and performances around the country and in other parts of the world in the past few years. He's sharing a new virtual piece for choirs during these difficult times, has discovered a love for working outside, and has recently stepped up his game in another form of artistic expression: photography.  

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