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USC Symphony Orchestra Announces 2014–2015 Concert Season

Donald Portnoy, conductor
Neil Casey, assistant conductor

The University of South Carolina's premier orchestra ensemble, led by acclaimed music director Donald Portnoy, receives accolades for its fine performances. World-renowned guest artists join the ensemble throughout the year to bring you a stirring seven-concert season with music by the most dynamic composers. Concerts take place at the Koger Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m.

Save with a season subscription (7 concerts) and enjoy the best seats in the house: $150 general public; $110 senior citizens, USC faculty and staff; $45 students. Single concert tickets are $30 general public; $25 senior citizens, USC faculty and staff; $8 students. Capitol Tickets: 803-251-2222 or Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets (M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or online at

Thurs., September 18, 2014

Russian Extravaganza!

Guest artist Zuill Bailey, cello

Zuill Bailey, among the most sought after cellists today, has been praised for his "virtuoso technique, strong, richly expressive tone and bold, individual manner of playing" (Gramophone Magazine).

Zuill Bailey, among the most sought after cellists today, has been praised for his peerless technique and great passion. Bailey will play Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra on the season opening Russian Extravaganza! concert. The three movements are all expansive, with a wide variety of themes and speeds that demand a cellist of exceptional technique and musicality. The USC Symphony Orchestra will also play one of Tchaikovsky's most joyful compositions, Symphony No. 2, on the season's opening concert.
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 2 in C minor, op. 17 (Little Russian)
Prokofiev - Sinfonia Concertante, op. 125 - Zuill Bailey, cello

Tues., October 21, 2014
Americana: The Music of Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington

As American as apple pie, Maestro Portnoy and the USC Symphony offer a delightful slice of Americana classics, bringing you the music of Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.
Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Gershwin - Cuban Overture
Ellington - Medley for Orchestra including "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Do Nothin' 'Til You Hear From Me," "Sophisticated Lady," and "It Don't Mean A Thing , If It Ain't Got That Swing."

Tues., November 18, 2014
Rock with Rachmaninoff

Adam Golka, piano

Golka delivers "a draw you into a world of intimate beauties." Dallas Morning News
"A wealth of color and dynamic range, integrating the solo role with organic sensitivity." The Scotsman

In November, guest artist Adam Golka, is sure to deliver a stunning performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire. Golka is the winner of the 2008 Gilmore Young Artist Award and first-prize winner of the 2009 Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award of the American Pianists Association. The Scotsman describes Golka as having "a wealth of color and dynamic range, integrating the solo role with organic sensitivity." The orchestra will also present Beethoven's cheerful Symphony No. 4 at the November concert.
Beethoven - Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, op. 60
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, op. 30 - Adam Golka, piano

Thurs., January 22, 2015
A Tribute to Sidney Palmer

Charles Fugo, piano; Sandlapper Singers

The new year begins with an evening devoted to the music of American pianist, conductor and composer Sidney Palmer. The concert features a number of his beloved works, including Petite Concerto Classique for piano and orchestra featuring pianist Charles Fugo and choral work Two Psalms and Alleluia with the Sandlapper Singers. Dr. Fugo has played collaborative recitals at New York City's Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, performed throughout the Southeast and has appeared on statewide programs on South Carolina Educational Radio and Television as both soloist and chamber musician. Neil Casey conducts.

Tues., February 24, 2015
A Cole Porter Celebration!

Tina Milhorn Stallard, soprano; Janet Hopkins, mezzo-soprano; Walter Cuttino, tenor; Jacob Will, baritone; Dreher High School Chorus

The season also includes a tribute to Cole Porter to brighten a cold February. Four soloists and chorus will celebrate some of Cole Porter's greatest hits including "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top," "All Through the Night," "I Love Paris," "Begin the Beguine," "So in Love," and "Night and Day."

Thurs., March 26, 2015
A Prodigy Returns

Zeyu Victor Li, violin

"Thrilling, bright, incredibly precise, energetic and athletic. Zeyu's technique, precision and musical delivery were astonishing." Free Times 2013

Zeyu Victor Li, returns to the Koger stage to play Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 at the March concert. Back by popular demand, the 18-year-old Chinese violin virtuoso has been praised for his technical mastery and exuberance. The Concerto No. 2 is more conventional than the composer's early bold compositions and begins with a melody related to traditional Russian folk music. About the work, Prokofiev wrote, "The number of places in which I wrote the Concerto shows the kind of nomadic concert-tour life I led then. The main theme of the 1st movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the 2nd movement at Voronezh, the orchestration was finished in Baku and the premiere was given in Madrid.
Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, op. 63 - Zeyu Victor Li, violin
Winners of the 2014-2015 USC Concerto-Aria Competition will also perform on this concert (winners and repertoire TBA).

Tues., April 21, 2015

Berlioz Requiem

Christian Sebek, tenor

Christian Sebek, currently performing on Broadway in Phantom of the Opera, is recognized for his powerful and lyric spinto. The New York Times praised Sebek as "possessing a marvelous voice," and the Houston Chronicle extolled his singing as "full of visceral excitement." With the USC Concert Choir, University Chorus and the Coker College Singers.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.