University of South Carolina

Schoenberg’s ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ comes to USC

By, Frenche Brewer,, 803-777-3691

Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg’s colorful and controversial melodrama "Moonstruck Pierrot" is one of contemporary music’s most influential masterpieces, and the University of South Carolina’s School of Music is set to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the work’s premiere.

"Moonstruck Pierrot" will be the featured performance in a special Southern Exposure New Music-Chamber Innovista Series joint concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26, in the School of Music recital hall. The program will feature members of USC’s music faculty and will be conducted by South Carolina Philharmonic Maestro Morihiko Nakahara.  

Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

The performance will star Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins, delivering what Schoenberg called “Sprechstimme” -- a hybrid of speech and song.  

Igor Stravinsky, the renowned composer and pianist, called the play “the solar plexus as well as the mind of early 20th-century music.”  

USC music theory professor Daniel Jenkins, a Schoenberg scholar, starts the show with an engaging multi-media presentation about Pierrot and its fascinating history. 

In “Artist Exposure,” an ongoing collaboration between Southern Exposure and Pocket Productions, Columbia artist Lyon Hill, an illustrator, puppet designer and animator, has created a painting for the concert, and will show a collection of never-before-seen illustrations.  

Michael Harley, artistic director of the Southern Exposure series said, “Schoenberg’s eerie, angst-filled music captures the drama’s major themes of blood, blasphemy, love, religion and insanity, setting the stage for a fitting Halloween performance.”


Janet Hopkins, “Sprechstimme”

Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute and piccolo

Joseph Eller, clarinet and bass clarinet

William Terwilliger, violin and viola

Robert Jesselson, cello

Joseph Rackers, piano

Morihiko Nakahara, conductor

Daniel Jenkins, lecture/presentation

Lyon Hill, featured artist


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Posted: 10/16/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 10/24/12 @ 5:06 PM | Permalink