Skip to Content

School of Music

Banner Image

Virtuoso violinist joins USC Symphony Orchestra Nov 15

Sandy Cameron declared “brilliant” by the Washington Post

Just Announced: Elementary, Middle School and High School students can attend this concert FREE!

Maestro Donald Portnoy and the USC Symphony Orchestra present a concert of Hanson and Shostakovich on Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts. Sandy Cameron, one of the most strikingly unique artists of her generation is the special guest on this concert – a virtuoso violinist declared “brilliant” by the Washington Post and “a shameless showstopper” by The New York Times. Broadway World declared “Sandy Cameron was a real showstopper…dancing, bobbing, prowling, weaving, and playing up a storm…” She joins the orchestra on Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto in A minor.

Ms. Cameron has performed extensively as a soloist and recitalist throughout North America, Europe and Korea. She toured North America with renowned conductor Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra, and made other solo appearances with the Seattle Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, among others. She was a performer in Cirque du Soleil’s Los Angeles based show, “IRIS,” and is a featured soloist in Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton concerts and The Nightmare Before Christmas Live at The Hollywood Bowl.

She is currently touring the world with jazz trumpeter and composer Chris Botti, performing jazz standards and classical repertoire. She will also be touring with composer Austin Wintory performing his score for the video game “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.” Her work has been featured on a number of film scores including Rio 2, The Peanuts, Straight Outta Compton, Goosebumps, The 5th Wave, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fantastic Four and The Cobbler.

Shostakovic’s First Violin Concerto was composed during the post-war years in Soviet Russia (1947–1948), a time of severe censorship. The 1934 decree required advance screenings of concerts, plays and ballets at least 10 days prior to their premieres, and seats in the concert halls were reserved for censors. Grounds for banning a work included anti-Soviet propaganda, lack of proper ideological perspective, and the lack of perceived artistic merit. In the 1950s, the focus of Soviet censorship shifted to literary works. Because of this hostile environment, Shostakovich kept the concerto unpublished until Stalin's death in March 1953.

Howard Hanson (1896–1981), director of the prestigious Eastman School of Music for 40 years, won numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1944. He was awarded the first American Rome Prize for a tone poem in 1921, “Before the Dawn,” which led him to Italy to study with Italian violinist, composer and musicologist Ottorino Respighi. Hanson composed the Symphony No. 1 in 1922 while living in Rome and influenced by Respighi’s mentoring. He completed it during his two-year stay in Rome, and it premièred in Rochester, New York, in 1923. Nicknamed “Nordic,” Symphony No. 1 reflects the composer’s Swedish ancestry and particularly the influence of Sibelius. The “Nordic” Symphony initiated an expansion in size and scope of Hanson’s compositional vision.

“Illuminations,” a pre-concert talk with Maestro Portnoy takes place at 6:45 p.m. prior to the performance.

Just Announced:

Elementary, Middle School and High School students can attend this concert FREE!

Tickets now on sale

Concert tickets:  $30 general public; Discounts: $25 seniors, USC faculty and staff; $8 students.
Call 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

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.