Arts Desk

Check out stories and album of the week features by WRTI's Susan Lewis, Debra Lew Harder, and Matt Silver.

Cellist David Finckel has been a member of the Emerson String Quartet for over 30 years. In that time, the ensemble has garnered a reputation as one of the world’s finest chamber ensembles. Now Finckel is leaving the group. But as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, it - and he - will endure.

This month, The Barnes Foundation is celebrating the first anniversary of its new home in Philadelphia.  As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the Barnes is also part of worldwide celebrations of a landmark birthday for one of America’s greatest living artists.

A Philadelphia-area jazz singer, who interprets songs in many languages, is also drawing attention to environmental issues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Phyllis Chapell finds that music is a way to reach people on many levels.

Information about Phyllis Chapell's upcoming live performances in the region.

The short film, AEIOU-Water, is shown Sundays at the Fairmount Water Works.   

Russian choral music developed over centuries - informed by tradition, the state, the church, and eventually other parts of the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this month, The Philadelphia Singers contrasts the works of two Russian masters, who created their sacred choral music over a century apart.

The Philadelphia Singers performs selections from Tchaikovsky’s 1878 Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, together with Alfred Schnittke's Choir Concerto, written in 1984-85, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City, Philadelphia on Sunday April 28th. Information here.

Jazz: Uniting Nations At The Woodmere Art Museum

Apr 15, 2013
Woodmere Art Museum

Music Lives at the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill, where, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the role of jazz in the history of the United Nations is being celebrated - close to where the UN’s Headquarters might have been.

Take a look at the Promise Of Peace: Violet Oakley's United Nations Portraits at the Woodmere Art Museum.

A United Nations Jazz Jam: Musicians from Around the World, April 26th, 6 to 8 pm at the Woodmere Art Museum. Performers include Yoomi Kwan (Korea, on cello); Rosie Langabeer (New Zealand), on accordion and piano); Atiba (Trinidad, on steel drums); Gloria Galante (Italy, on harp); Qin-Qian (China, on Erhu); Koki Soul (French Canadian, guitar/percussion/vocals); Phyllis Hadad (Brazil, on piano) and Moguane Mahloeoe (South Africa, on percussion).

Beating The Drum For Solo Percussionists

Apr 15, 2013

One of the most recent instrumentalists to be added to the roster of soloists in orchestral performances is the percussionist. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, it’s a role that makes unique demands.

In a program that also features works by Wagner and Tchaikovsky, Colin Currie performs Christopher Rouses' Der gerettete Alberich with The Philadelphia Orchestra here on WRTI on Sunday, April 21 at 2 pm.

Lyric Fest: Singing In Tongues

Apr 15, 2013

Though better known today as a commercial brand, the Rosetta Stone is the artifact that most helped human kind in its understanding of ancient languages. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, a local music group is using the term to describe its exploration of great music written in non-native languages. Lyric Fest presents: The Rosetta Stone at the Academy of Vocal Arts on Sunday, May 5th at 3 pm.

Stephen Fry: 21st-Century British Renaissance Man

Apr 11, 2013

Actor, director, producer, novelist, journalist, comedian, broadcaster, technology maven - Stephen Fry has been an international success wearing all of these hats, and more! He's also penned the book for a hugely successful musical, and co-written an authoritative book on the history of classical music. He's the quintessential modern polymath. 

clockwise from top left: Baltimore Ave by J. Fusco, Penn Park by G. Widman, Christian Street by R. Kennedy, and Penn Treaty Park by M. Kennedy

A new Philadelphia tourism initiative is encouraging visitors and residents alike to explore restaurants, galleries, culture, and nightlife in neighborhoods just beyond Center City. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the campaign by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, or GPTMC, paints portraits of nearby neighborhoods that are attracting visitors.

A new section of GPTMC's website is devoted to 14 neighborhoods, with maps, videos, and social media integration. Check it out here!

To Philadelphia, From Amsterdam, Via Dallas

Apr 8, 2013

A Dutch-born conductor, who walked away from a pre-eminent position in his homeland to find success abroad, conducts in Philadelphia this week. WRTI’s Jim Cotter says the former instrumentalist made the move against the advice of his compatriots but with the encouragement of a classical-music legend. Information about the concert here.

Jaap Van Sweden; The Man and the Music (Part 1)

Jaap Van Sweden; The Man and the Music (Part 2)