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

After two summers in residency at Temple University, the third season of Young Women Composers Camp (YWCC) was all virtual. The new format grew participation to 50 composers, ages 13 to 24, from as nearby as Philadelphia and as far away as Turkey and Australia. Each completed a short piece for solo performer. 

Courtesy of Lisa Batiashvili

Georgian-born violinist Lisa Batiashvili is usually on the move, soloing with orchestras around the world. But since March she’s has been at home with her family in Germany and France. In this TIME IN interview, she talks about the pleasures of re-creating family recipes for her husband and children, playing chamber music with friends, and finding time for yoga and meditation amongst other things.

Courtesy of the artist

Since 2017, Slingshot—a collaboration between NPR Music and the digital music service VuHaus—has provided a platform where 'taste-making' music stations share stories about the music scene and emerging artists in their communities. Now, Slingshot is shining a spotlight on jazz in Philadelphia: its history, its present, and its future, with stories produced by WRTI.

Bagpipes often play at police and firefighter funerals, but they also play at celebrations.  And in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes & Drums play everything from "Amazing Grace" to the Rocky theme, to music in concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra.


September 7, 2020. From a quiet woodland to a pounding surf, nature can provide peace, solace, and inspiration, especially in difficult times. WRTI's Classical Album of the Week taps into the way nature transforms us, with music by contemporary Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds.

Wikipedia Commons

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony premiered in 1808 and was praised as "one of the most important works of the time" by critic E.T.A. Hoffman. WRTI’s Susan Lewis explores why, in the more than 200 years since, the work retains its extraordinary appeal.


As leader of the internationally acclaimed Opera Philadelphia, David Devan is accustomed to an incredibly busy schedule with frequent travel and hosting cast parties, donor events, and other large gatherings in his Philadelphia loft.

PhotoQuest/Getty Images

It was a 1925 novel, then a Broadway play, before George Gershwin worked with novelist DuBose Heyward to create one of the first American operas. Today, the beloved music of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess lives on—and off— the opera stage.

The great alto saxophonist and jazz icon Charlie "Yardbird" Parker was only 34 years old when he died in 1955. During his short life, he became one of the most influential improvising soloists in jazz. As we celebrate Bird's 100th birthday week on WRTI starting on August 24th, Jazz Host Bob Perkins talks with Susan Lewis about why he's always been in sync with the music of Charlie Parker.

Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

The virtuoso guitarist Julian Bream, who died August 14, 2020 at age 87 of natural causes in Wiltshire, England, helped change the way the world views the classical guitar and the lute, taking the instruments to new audiences and musical settings.

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