Interview

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.  

Stanley Gordon

Beethoven. Sure, he was the deaf, scowling musical genius with the wild hair. But those who knew him thought of him a little differently. We’ll take a look at some little-known quirks of the great composer, culled from documented recollections of his friends and acquaintances, biographies, and my conversation with John Suchet, author of Beethoven: The Man Revealed.

Ludwig van Beethoven, who lived from 1770 to 1827, is one of the most popular composers of all time.  Although he began to lose his hearing in his late 20s, and went completely deaf by his mid 40s, his deafness did nothing to defeat his ability to compose. Beethoven’s influence around the globe has not been hampered by geography, wars. or even pandemics. Let’s examine the pervasive appeal of Beethoven, which has transformed him from musical genius to Promethean hero to demigod.

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. 

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.

Jack Bradley Collection, Louis Armstrong House Museum

Describing Louis Armstrong biographer Ricky Riccardi as merely enthusiastic about Satchmo would be a gross understatement. It’s easier to say he’s dedicated his professional career to setting—and resetting—Armstrong’s historic life to record.

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.

M. Nicole Fischer

With a career as a concert soloist launched at a very young age, and then a debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic when she was just 8, violinist Sarah Chang continues to perform with world-class ensembles across the globe. She's been honored for her leadership in the arts by the World Economic Forum and Harvard University, and was named Artistic Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State in 2011. 

What has been life been like for Philadelphia-based composer Jennifer Higdon since the start of the pandemic? In this late May, 2020 TIME IN interview with WRTI’s Susan Lewis, Jennifer shares how the COVID-19 shutdown has influenced her writing and teaching, and prompted her to explore new activities, including listening to a certain podcast and driving the first car she's owned in 22 years!

Courtesy of Jeri Lynne Johnson

In 2008, African-American conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson founded Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble of classically trained musicians from diverse cultures and ethnicities as a model for the 21st century. She shared with WRTI's Susan Lewis her thoughts about the possibilities for change in classical music culture.


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