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School of Music


Tony Arnold and Jacob Greenberg

Southern Exposure New Music Series

Southern Exposure 2015–2016 Season

Southern Exposure’s 2015-16 season, “Classical Collaborations,” expands from our traditional four concerts to five. The year bursts at the seams with the energy and eclecticism that characterizes contemporary music today.

Highlights include a path-breaking chamber arrangement of Mahler’s unfinished 10th Symphony, an evening with new music’s leading young soprano, a concert of electro-acoustic music with four world premieres, a show featuring artists that reimagine the concert experience, and a season-ending collaboration with Columbia’s Indie Grits film festival.

Each concert represents a different take on the idea of collaboration: between performers, composers, arrangers, artists, filmmakers, video designers, and even with the audience.

All Southern Exposure concerts are free of charge. All but the final concert are at the USC School of Music Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.


ArgentoFri., August 28, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Classical Discrimination: Argento Chamber Ensemble
The Argento Chamber Ensemble, called an “essential source of adventurous new music” by the New Yorker’s Alex Ross, has been much lauded for its recent series of performances of chamber orchestra arrangements of Mahler symphonies, which recast the legendary, forward-looking composer and former New York Philharmonic conductor as a “New York Contemporary.”

Argento’s Southern Exposure show features the first-ever performance of their latest Mahler project: portions of his 10th symphony, left incomplete at his death. As an opener to the Mahler arrangements, Argento will perform ABRAXAS by rising star Jesse Jones, Southern Exposure’s former assistant director, now professor of composition at the University of Georgia. The concert is followed by a conversation with the artists in the Recital Hall. This concert is sponsored, in part, by South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Related Events: 
Post-Concert Conversation
Educational Concert at Dreher High School, grades 5-12
Thurs. Aug. 27, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Instrumental master classes at USC, TBA.

Argento Chamber Ensemble
New York Times review


Tony Arnold and Jacob GreenbergFri., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Apparition: Soprano Tony Arnold and Pianist Jacob Greenberg
Contemporary music’s leading soprano, Tony Arnold consistently receives accolades around the world for the warmth and beauty of her voice, her extraordinary technical facility, superb musicianship, and riveting stage presence. The Huffington Post says, "Soprano Tony Arnold is a luminary in the world of chamber music and art song. Today's classical composers are inspired by her inherently beautiful voice, consummate musicianship, and embracing spirit."

Arnold’s long-time collaborator pianist Jacob Greenberg has been praised for his “brilliance,” “heroic dexterity,” and the depth and nuance he brings to interpretations of both old and new repertoire (New York Times).  

Arnold and Greenberg’s Southern Exposure program includes American icon George Crumb’s haunting Apparition, which sets texts from Walt Whitman’s elegy for Abraham Lincoln, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” (2015 is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death; Whitman wrote his elegy shortly after Lincoln’s assassination, in the summer of 1865).

Tony Arnold website
Jacob Greenberg 


Cameron BrittC Street Brass logoFri., Jan. 29, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Exposed Wiring V with C Street Brass, Cameron Britt, Sharon Harms, Kenneth Meyer & USC faculty
Exposed Wiring, music created for live performance with electronics, is curated in part by USC composer and electronic/computer music whiz Reginald Bain. Remarkably, this special evening includes four world premieres by acclaimed composers, three of whom have Carolina connections: Bain, former USC composition professor Jesse Jones, Washington University in St. Louis’ Christopher Stark, and and Duke University’s Cameron Britt..

USC faculty performers include Joe Eller (clarinet), Scott Herring (percussion), Robert Jesselson (cello), Clifford Leaman (saxophone), Jennifer Parker-Harley (flute), Joseph Rackers (piano), and William Terwilliger (violin).  Composer Ben Broening of Richmond University will man the electronics in a performance of his sextet, “like dreams, statistics are a form of wish fulfillment.” 

Acclaimed soprano / guitar duo Sharon Harms and Kenneth Meyer will be premiering Jones’s “The mystery which binds me still.” Percussionist and USC grad Britt journeys down from Durham, N.C. to join in the fun as both a performer and featured composer. Finally, Pittsburgh’s C Street Brass, praised for their “fantastic and imaginative approach to brass music” (trumpeter Chris Botti) commandeer the stage, returning to Columbia for an extended encore. 

See the news story.


Ferry and XuanKarel DohnalFri. April 1, 7:30 p.m.
Transforming the Concert Experience: Karel Dohnal, clarinet and Peter Ferry & Xuan, percussion and video design
This concert promises to be in some respects its most adventurous: it features a world-renowned clarinet soloist and up-and-coming young percussion/video design duo, both of whom present striking, original visions of the concert experience – in addition to flat-out playing great. The Czech performer Dohnal, one of the world’s leading clarinetists, presents his engaging, critically-acclaimed interpretation of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Harlekin (Harlequin, 1975), a costumed piece that includes elements of dance and pantomime – it was written for dancing clarinetist!   

Peter Ferry and Xuan, winners of USC’s 2015 Savvy Musician in Action Chamber Music Competition, are a duo that challenges the conventional notions of a chamber music partnership. Ferry, a virtuoso percussionist, has significant video and technology chops. Xuan, an acclaimed video designer, is also a classically trained pianist and is unusually well-suited to interpret music on the big screen. As a team, they create performances that blend percussion and video (and occasionally piano) with extraordinary sophistication, beauty and humor. 

Karel Dohnal’s appearance is made possible through funding by the USC Clarinet Association, a USC Student Government organization. 

Karel Dohnal bio
Peter Ferry website
Peter Ferry & Xuan Youtube


Indie Grits logoThurs., April 14, 8:30 p.m.
2016 Indie Grits Collaboration: eighth blackbird
A collaboration with Indie Grits and Southern Exposure,  eighth blackbird kicks off the 2016 Indie Grits Festival with their HAND EYE project.

eighth blackbird is hailed as “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” by the Chicago Tribune. The sextet of progressive musicians, known for their multiple Grammy Award-winning music and collaborations, will be coupled with site-specific live performance visuals featuring new work from past Indie Grits filmmakers and the 2016 Festival theme, WATERLINES.

Indie Grits filmmaker alumnus and new media specialist, Patrick Nugent, will orchestrate a visual performance to accompany the music. His site-specific visual installation will feature archival footage from USC’s Moving Image Research Collection and found footage from the Waterlines video archive collected from the recent catastrophic flooding that hit Columbia.