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School of Music

  • Guest Artist Inbal Segev, cello

USC Symphony Orchestra 2015-2016 Concerts

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 six-concert season.

Season subscriptions

Save with a season subscription (6 concerts) and enjoy the best seats in the house: $150 general public
Discounts: $110 senior citizens, USC faculty and staff; $45 students.

Concert tickets

Single concert tickets are $30 general public
Discounts: $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 purchase tickets online.

Concerts take place at the Koger Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m.

Tues., September 15, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

Paremski Plays Tchaikovsky

Guest Artist Natasha Paremski, piano

Natasha ParemskiThe opening concert of the season includes Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, one of the most popular of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concertos. Guest artist Natasha Paremski has been called “empress of the keyboard” by the Kalamazoo Gazette. San Francisco Classical Voice declared, “Technique to burn, magic hands, solid rhythmic control, sensitive pedaling, mature stage presence, a real feeling for lush romantic music, the ability to handle blazingly rapid passagework, beautifully executed trills, and all made to look very easy.” Also on the program is Jean Sibelius’ bold and unconventional Symphony No. 2 in D Major.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) - Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op. 43
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) - Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, op. 23
Natasha Paremski, piano

Tues., October 20, 2015, 7:30 p.m.   

John Williams Extravaganza!

Guest Artist Michael Ludwig, violin

Michael LudwigThe entire family will enjoy the Signature Editions of composer John Williams’ most beloved film score classics, including music from Star Wars, Hook, E.T., Harry Potter, Schindler’s List, Superman, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark, Fiddler on the Roof and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Composer Williams (b. 1932) has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards and 22 Grammy Awards. With 49 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated individual after Walt Disney and has been recognized for his contribution to film and television music.

Hailed by Strad Magazine for his “effortless, envy-provoking technique… sweet tone, brilliant expression, and grand style,” guest artist Michael Ludwig enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, recording artist, and chamber musician. A highly sought-after soloist, he has performed on four continents and has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, among others. Acclaimed musician Van Cliburn said, “A musician of profound artistry and consummate integrity, Michael Ludwig possesses a gorgeous sound which he projects with heartfelt passion and intensity.”

Tues., November 17, 2015, 7:30 p.m.    

Viva España!

Guest Artists Beijing Guitar Duo
Janet Hopkins, mezzo-soprano 

Beijing Guitar DuoJanet HopkinsThe music of three Spanish composers transports you to Spain for an evening. Joaquín Turina’s La oración del torero (Prayer of the Bullfighter) draws on the rich heritage of the Spanish guitar with roots in the folk tradition. Metropolitan opera veteran Janet Hopkins sings Manuel de Falla’s El amor brujo (Love, the Magician), distinctively Andalusian in character.

Composed of guitarist Meng Su and Yameng Wang, the Beijing Guitar Duo has performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America, racking up accolades along the way. The San Francisco Examiner described the duo as “Particularly skillful in fingering of rapid passage. . .uncanny synchronization.” The South Florida Classical Review wrote, “They capitalize on the rich palette of sounds the two-guitar medium is capable of, approaching the music with deeply felt expression.”  The duo plays Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto madrigal, based on the anonymous Renaissance madrigal Felices ojos mios (Happy Eyes of Mine).
Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) - La oración del torero (Prayer of the Bullfighter)
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) - El amor brujo (Love, the Magician): Ballet suite - Janet Hopkins, mezzo-soprano
Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) - Concierto madrigal - Beijing Guitar Duo (Ming Su and Yameng Wang)

Tues., February 23, 2016   

All-Beethoven Concert

Guest Artist Vadim Gluzman, violin

Vadim GluzmanVadim Gluzman’s performances are heard around the world through live broadcasts and a striking catalog of award-winning recordings. He plays the extraordinary 1690 ‘ex-Leopold Auer’ Stradivari, on extended loan to him through the generosity of the Stradivari Society of Chicago. The Israeli violinist appears regularly with major orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, London Symphony, among others. The New Orleans Times glowed, “Better than Itzhak Perlman, better than Midori, better than Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and all the other big-name string titans who have soloed with the LPO in recent years.” wrote, "Violinist Vadim Gluzman plays the violin as if it was the easiest thing on the earth to do. He produces a beautiful cantilena violin tone...delivers strong rhythms and virtuosity as natural component...fully observes the musical score and invests it with nuances which cannot be notated but which reach the spirit of the musical content."

Barbecue and Brew
No need to catch dinner before the concert. Join us for a delicious barbecue and brew meal before the concert, serving beginning 5:30 p.m. in the large rehearsal room at the Koger (first floor across from elevators). On the menu: Choice of pulled pork sliders or barbecue chicken sliders, potato salad, coleslaw, dessert and beverage (beer, iced tea, lemonade, or water). Tickets are $15 per person and must be purchased in advance by Feb. 17 at the Koger Box Office, by calling 803-251-2222, or online at Limited to 275 guests.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Overture to Prometheus

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92,
Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 61, Vadim Gluzman, violin

Tues., March 22, 2016       

Poems And Songs

Guest artist Janet Hopkins, mezzo-soprano

Janet HopkinsThe Washington Post called 16-year veteran of the New York Metropolitan Opera, Janet Hopkins, “angel-voiced.” Hopkins continues to thrill audiences on symphonic stages across America, and she will sing Vaughan Williams’ Four Last Songs and Gustav Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder. Mahler brings Friedrich Rückert’s poems to life with his luxuriant melodic setting. Rückert wrote beautiful examples of German lyric romantic poems that Mahler collected for this set of songs. The texts of Four Last Songs are poems written by Vaughan Williams' wife Ursula who penned several books of poetry throughout her lifetime as well as a biography of her late husband. "Procris" and "Menelaus" deal with figures from ancient Greek and Roman mythology and epic poetry while "Tired" and "Hands, Eyes, and Heart" depict images of love between a husband and wife. This concert also includes the student winners of the USC Concerto–Aria Competition.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) - Rückert-Lieder
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) - Four Last Songs, Janet Hopkins, mezzo-soprano
2015–2016 USC Concerto–Aria Competition Winners:
Liangjun Zou, violin
Sibelius, Violin Concerto (mvmt. III)
Jake Mann, clarinet
Debussy, Premiere Rhapsody

Mon., April 18, 2016    

Segev Plays Elgar

Guest Artist Inbal Segev, cello

Inbal SegevIsraeli-born Inbal Segev’s playing has been described as “characterized by a strong and warm tone . . . delivered with impressive fluency and style,” by The Strad and “first class,” “richly inspired,” and “very moving indeed,” by Gramophone. Equally committed to new repertoire for the cello and known masterworks, Segev brings interpretations that are both unreservedly natural and insightful to the vast range of solo and chamber music that she performs. She will play Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor. Also on the final concert of the season is Tchaikovsky’s beloved Swan Lake Suite.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) - Swan Lake Suite, op. 20A    
Edward Elgar (1857-1934) - Cello Concerto in E minor, op. 85, Inbal Segev, cello

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