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USC Symphony Orchestra launches new season

Guest artist Misha Dichter performs Rachmaninoff Sept. 19

The University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra launches its new season Thursday, Sept. 19 with Misha Dichter, a giant presence in the piano world for nearly half a century. He will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43” with the orchestra. The orchestra will also perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, op. 73 in D major.

Dichter burst onto the world’s music scene in 1966 winning the silver medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition when he was just 20 and a student at the Juilliard School. He made his New York debut in 1968 with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic.

The pianist’s vast discography on the Philips, RCA, and MusicMasters labels ranges from George Frederic Handel to George Gershwin. A noted exponent of Franz Liszt's piano works, Dichter was honored in 1998 with the Grand Prix International du Disque Liszt. 

“From Dichter everything is deeply considered, every musical possibility explored … combined with a comprehensive and unfaltering technique,” wrote Gramophone magazine.

Dichter was born in Shanghai where his parents had fled from their native Poland at the outbreak of World War II. They eventually settled in Los Angeles where he began piano lessons at 6.
Since winning the silver at the Tchaikovsky half a century ago he has had a nearly non-stop career as soloist with major orchestras around the world and as a chamber musician, often performing duo-piano works with his wife Cipa Dichter, and appearing regularly at the Ravinia, Caramoor, Mostly Mozart and Aspen festivals. He made his debut at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony in 1968 and has been back every summer since.

The concert takes place at the Koger Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m.

Purchase tickets

Season subscriptions: $150, $110 for USC faculty and staff and senior citizens, and $45 for students. Call (803) 777-7500 or email

Individual concerts: $30 general public, $25 USC faculty and staff and seniors, $8 students. Call (803) 251-2222 or online at

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