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USC Symphony Orchestra 2017–2018 Concert Series

Scott Weiss, conductor
Preceding each concert are pre-concert talks at 6:45 p.m. on the Koger stage.

The USC Symphony is proud to announce its 2017-2018 season! Showcasing the extraordinary musical talent in the USC School of Music, the 2017-2018 season includes monumental symphonies by Mahler, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, as well as beloved concerto repertoire featuring world-renowned soloists from the USC faculty and beyond.

All concerts take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts unless otherwise noted.
Valet parking is available.

Join us for what promises to be a glorious season of orchestral music in the Koger Center for the Arts!

Season subscriptions

Save with a season subscription (6 concerts) and enjoy the best seats in the house: $150
Season subscriptions must be purchased by phone or in person at the Koger Box Office.
Discounts: $110 senior citizen / military / USC faculty and staff; $45 students.
Discounted tickets must be purchased in person at the Koger Box Office.

Concert tickets

General public - $30
Discounted tickets must be purchased in person at the Koger Box Office:
Senior citizen / military / USC faculty and staff - $25
Children under 18 and non-USC students with ID - $8
NEW! USC Students - free with student ID  (must be picked up from the Koger Box Office (corner of Park and Greene) before 5:00 p.m. on the day of the performance). Please note that free student tickets are excluded from Bernstein MASS and are $10.

Purchase tickets

Call 803-251-2222, in person at Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets (M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or online at

Zuill BaileyZuill Bailey Returns!

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Zuill Bailey, cello

MICHAEL DAUGHERTY - Tales of Hemingway     
SHOSTAKOVICH - Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47

Back by popular demand, cellist Zuill Bailey returns to USC to perform the cello concerto for which he received the 2017 Grammy for Best Solo Classical Performance, Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway. This riveting new work brings to life the brilliant literature and fascinating life of writer Ernest Hemingway.

Ari StreisfeldDaniel SweaneyBeethoven’s “Pastoral”

Monday, October 30, 2017
Ari Streisfeld, violin
Daniel Sweaney, viola


MOZART - Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major, K. 364     
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 6 in F major, op. 68 “Pastoral”

With its evocations of brooks, birdsongs, and thunderstorms, Beethoven’s bucolic “Pastoral” symphony celebrates the beauty of nature and is one of the composer’s most beloved works. Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante opens the concert and showcases USC’s newest members of the string faculty, violinist Ari Streisfeld and violist Daniel Sweaney.

Phillip BushFamous Last Words

Monday, December 4, 2017
Phillip Bush, piano

BARTÓK - Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 6 in B minor, op. 74 “Pathétique”

Both Bartók and Tchaikovsky may very well have saved their very best for last. Completed in their final days, the two works on this program include some of the most beautiful and poignant music either composer ever wrote.

score and batonConcertos!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Join Scott Weiss and the USC Symphony for a program featuring the winners of the 2017-18 USC Concerto-Aria Competition.
FAIROUZ - Pax Universalis
GRØNDAHL - Trombone Concerto - Michael Baker, trombone
Moderato assai ma molto maestoso
Quasi una leggenda. Andante grave
SIBELIUS - Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47 - Haley Kovach, violin
Allegro moderato
CRESTON - Saxophone Concerto, op. 26 - Dillon Smith, alto saxophone
RAVEL - Boléro

Kevin VortmanBernstein MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers

March 2-4, 2018 (Sunday performance at 3:00 p.m.)
Kevin Vortmann, tenor

BERNSTEIN - MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers
A production of the University of South Carolina School of Music.

2018 is the centenary of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein’s birth, and the USC School of Music marks the occasion with three performances of Bernstein’s MASS. Composed at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center in 1971, MASS includes two orchestras, a rock band, a blues band, several choirs, singers, dancers, and actors. While employing some of the elements of a traditional Catholic Mass, the piece also draws upon the composer’s Broadway experience as well as other religious and popular genres. Featuring tenor Kevin Vortmann in the role of the Celebrant, this one-of-a-kind event is not to be missed! Directed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer; conducted by Scott Weiss; musical preparation by Lynn Kompass; Alicia Walker is chorus director. Please note that free student tickets are excluded from this production and are $10. Read more about it.

Joseph EllerMahler’s “Titan”

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Joseph Eller, clarinet

NIELSEN - Clarinet Concerto
MAHLER - Symphony No. 1 in D major “Titan”

The USC Symphony concludes its season with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a monumental work that takes listeners from the mystic awakening of nature to an exhilarating, heart-stopping finale. The evening opens with the stormy clarinet concerto of Danish composer Carl Nielsen.


Scott WeissScott Weiss, Music Director and Conductor

Scott Weiss is beginning his eighth year as the Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina where he conducts the USC Symphony Orchestra and the USC Wind Ensemble and teaches conducting. Equally at home leading symphony orchestras and wind ensembles, Dr. Weiss maintains an active international guest conducting schedule, including recent concerts in China with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the Hunan Symphony Orchestra, the Nanchang Philharmonic, the Shandong Symphony Orchestra, and the Inner Mongolia Symphony Orchestra; and his 2017-2018 schedule includes return engagements with the Inner-Mongolia and Hunan Symphony Orchestras, as well as his debut with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra. A champion of contemporary music, his performances have been praised by such notable composers as Joseph Schwantner, Karel Husa, Samuel Adler, and Jennifer Higdon; and he has a series of critically-acclaimed recordings on the Naxos label as well as a brand new disc on Summit Records that was released worldwide in April 2017.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.