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Virtuoso violinist Catherine Cho returns to USC

Guest artist Cho joins USC Symphony Orchestra for the final concert of the academic year

Catherine Cho, violin, joins the USC Symphony Orchestra for the final concert of the academic year on Thursday, April 24 at the Koger Center for the Arts. Cho, praised by The New York Times for her "sublime tone," has appeared worldwide as soloist with many orchestras and chamber ensembles. She is recognized for her remarkable virtuosity, combining technical mastery of her instrument with an extraordinary and distinctive musicality. Cho, a graduate and current faculty member at Julliard, joins the orchestra for Felix Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, op. 64 in E minor.

Orchestra artistic director and conductor Donald Portnoy said, “We’re thrilled to have Catherine Cho return for our season finale to play Mendelssohn’s famous Violin Concerto – a work that has become indispensable in the repertoire.”

Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) used the standard classical structures for his Violin Concerto, but he made adaptations to better suit both his own tastes and the changing times. The changes included an almost instant introduction of the solo instrument and a written-out solo cadenza, which would have usually been improvised by the soloist.

The concert also includes Leonard Bernstein’s “Three Dance Episodes” from “On the Town” and Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia: Four Dances, op. 8a.”

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) saw New York City as a wonderful, teeming center of life and reflected it in many of his compositions, such as “On the Town.” His music lifts the work beyond the limitations of its lighthearted plot, the adventures of three sailors on 24-hour shore leave in the city during wartime 1944. Each of the three sailors becomes enamored of a particular woman and of the city itself.

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) was the leading Argentinian composer of the 20th century. Born in Buenos Aires, he first came to international attention in the 1940s with two ballet scores, one of which was “Estancia.” Evoking the rhythms of life on the ranches of Argentina and employing a nationalist style, “Estancia” is a bravura work inspired by the flamboyant malambo dance of the Argentine gauchos. It has become one of Ginastera’s most popular works.

This last concert of the academic year is “renewal night” and allows patrons to conveniently purchase a subscription to next season in the Koger lobby before or after the concert. A season subscription discount is $150 for the public, $110 for seniors and USC faculty and staff, and $45 for students.

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center. Tickets are $30 for the general public, $25 for USC faculty and staff and seniors, and $8 for students.

Purchase tickets

  • Koger Box Office: corner of Greene and Park Streets, Columbia, SC 29201
    Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m
  • By phone: (803) 251-2222
    Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m
  • Online: 
Please note that added fees apply.
  • At the door

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