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

November 30, 2020. In his concerto for guitar and orchestra, Chris Brubeck pays homage to his father, the late jazz great Dave Brubeck. The pianist and composer, whose centennial we celebrate on December 6th, passed away in 2012. Brubeck's piece is the title track of our Classical Album of the Week. Guitarist Sharon Isbin's Affinity features music inspired by different cultures and genres, and has a personal story behind each work. 

Bachrach Photography

In WRTI's final broadcast of its PYO series this year, WRTI Host Kevin Gordon spoke with Music Director Louis Scaglione in an intermission feature, which includes a discussion about PYO plans to safely resume in-person rehearsals and performances. 

Courtesy of the artist

English concert soloist, recitalist, and opera star Carolyn Sampson was traveling when governments in Europe and the UK began shutting down in early 2020. In this TIME IN interview, she talks about getting home to England, where she's been making online discoveries with her kids, exploring nature, and looking forward to new projects in the offing.

Tim Photoguy/Unsplash

Antonin Dvorak wrote his Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," soon after arriving in America in 1893.  A yearning melody from the second movement took on a new life as a popular American song that continues to be reinvented. 

While it's not easy to find duets for two tenors, Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres uncovered a number of them in seven early 19th-century Rossini operas. After a video of their encore duet in 2018 at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam went viral, they put together a groundbreaking album, Amici e Rivali, which collects over a dozen duets and trios and shines a light on the genius of Gioachino Rossini. 

Courtesy of Peter Dugan

Pianist Peter Dugan was a teenager living in Upper Darby, when, in 2006, he was chosen to perform on From the Top, NPR's nationally syndicated radio program that "showcases the music, stories, and unique humor of America's best young classical musicians."  Now he's the host of the popular program, which is broadcast on over 200 stations across the country, including WRTI.

October 26, 2020. Guitar quartets, cello, and voices come together in a new album exploring the experiences of pioneering and Native American women. The GRAMMY-winning vocal ensemble Conspirare's recording, The Singing Guitar, includes The Dawn’s Early Light, by Huntingdon Valley composer Kile Smith. He talks with us about the album, his piece, and the fascinating story behind the new rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" within it. 

Kelly and Massa

Although the COVID-19 shutdown has cancelled live performances, Opera Philadelphia has reinvented its 2020 season with a new subscription channel that uses a filmmaker's approach to opera's powerful music and theater. General Director and President David Devan talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis about the new Opera Philadelphia Channel.

What is multiple Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin's response to everyone wearing masks to stay healthy?  "Welcome to my world!" she says. "I’ve been wearing an N95 mask for almost 20 years on every single airplane flight, and since doing that, I've never gotten sick from flying."

October 19, 2020. Songs can entertain and touch us with emotions, from happiness to humor to heartbreak. The Contrast, a new release by soprano Carolyn Sampson and pianist Joseph Middleton, celebrates the range of works by five English composers writing over the last 120 years. 

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