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USC Announces the Maestro’s Farewell Season

Donald Portnoy retires after the USC Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-2017 season

The USC Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming season celebrates Maestro Donald Portnoy’s 31 years leading Carolina’s premier orchestra. His music leadership has drawn out the very best in thousands of young musicians. The Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts retires as director of the USC Symphony Orchestra and Orchestral Studies after the 2016-2017 academic year.

Portnoy has received countless accolades throughout his years conducting the university’s orchestra – one of the top university orchestras in the region. He will continue to teach conducting and violin and direct the Conductors Institute of South Carolina at the University of South Carolina.

All concerts take place at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia, SC) at 7:30 p.m.
A pre-concert Prelude Talk with Maestro Portnoy takes place at 6:45 p.m. prior to each performance.

Tickets Now on Sale

Season subscriptions: Save with a season subscription (7 concerts) and enjoy the best seats in the house: $150
Discounts: $110 seniors, USC faculty and staff; $45 students.
Single 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

The Season at a Glance


The Russian Romantics

Thur., Sept. 13, 2016
Marina Lomazov, piano
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) – Symphony No. 4 in F minor, op.36
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) – Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, op 18

John Williams Blockbusters!

Tue., Oct. 18, 2016
Clifford Leaman, saxophone
Back by popular demand, the USC Symphony Orchestra performs more Signature Editions of legendary American composer John Williams.

Hanson and Shostakovich

Tue., Nov. 15, 2016
Sandy Cameron, violin
Howard Hanson (1896-1981)- Symphony No. 1 in E minor, op. 21 (Nordic)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) - Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 77

Maestro Portnoy and Friends

Thur., Jan. 19, 2017
Join guest soloists and friends of Maestro Donald Portnoy as they celebrate the Maestro’s years of conducting and music making. Artists and repertoire to be announced.

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody

Tue., Feb. 21, 2017
Joyce Yang, piano
Aaron Copland (1900-1990) - El Salon Mexico
Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791) - Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 (Haffner)
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43

Dvořák and the Historic Cello of Pablo Casals

Tue., March 21, 2017
Amit Peled, cello
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) - Cello Concerto in B minor, op. 104
TBA- USC Concert-Aria Competition winners

Grand Finale: The Spirit of Romanticism

Tue., April 18, 2017
Vadim Gluzman, violin
Richard Wagner (1813-1883) - Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) - Symphony No. 8 in G Major, op. 88
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) - Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 35

See the Season Details

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.