arts and culture

Bradley Fuller / South Carolina Public Radio

Those who insist that speaking about music is akin to dancing about architecture would do well to take a few preliminary steps with Columbia-based conductor Nisan Ak. A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Ak knows that a little preparation before taking in a performance can go a long way.

Carolina Live Program Listings

Jun 19, 2019

Nov 3 & 5
Winston-Salem Symphony: Kulenovic Conducts Brahms
Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor; Julian Schwartz, cello

Weber: Overture to Der Freischutz
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat
Bach: Prelude to First Cello Suite
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F

The Winston-Salem Symphony is led by guest conductor Vladimir Kulenovic in a concert appropriately titled Kulenovic Conducts Brahms.  The title piece is Brahms' Symphony No. 3 in F, but also included is Carl Maria von Weber's Overture to Der Freischutz, the Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat by Dmitri Shostakovich, and an encore by Bach from guest cellist Julian Schwartz.  Please join us for this rich group of pleces and the excellent performers who play them.

Nov 10 & 12
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: And the Gold Medal Winner Is…
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; Yekwon Sunwoo, piano

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in d-minor
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in e-minor

This edition of Carolina Live features two wonderful orchestral works performed by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.  Conductor Edvard Tchivzhel leads the players in Sergei Rachmaninoff's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3 in d-minor, with celebrated guest pianist Yekwon Sunwoo, Gold Medalist at the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.  Then the orchestra performs Johannes Brahms' marvelous Symphony No. 4 in e-minor to round out a program you won't want to miss.

Nov 17 & 19
Greensboro Symphony: Austro-Hungarian Delight
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Scott Rawls, viola

Kodaly: Dances of Galanta
Bartok: Viola Concerto
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F

The Rutherford Chamber Consort: Ruscelli di Primavera
Schoenberg: Transfigured Night for String Sextet

There's a combination of grand symphonic music and a very intriguing chamber piece on this edition of Carolina Live.  The Greensboro Symphony offers their concert titled Austro-Hungarian Delight, with music by Zoltan Kodaly, Bela Bartok and Johannes Brahms.  Then the Rutherford Chamber Consort brings us a work by Arnold Schoenberg, his Transfigured Night for String Sextet.  Interesting combination for sure, and pleasurable listening for you…

Nov 24 & 26
South Carolina Philharmonic: Beethoven & Blue Jeans – Oktoberfest!
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Hugo Kitano, piano

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Piano Concerto No. 3
Symphony No. 7

Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Oktoberfest
Edvard Tchizhel, conductor

Gluck: Selections from Orpheus and Eurydice
J. S. Bach: Suite No. 4 in D

An all-Beethoven program marked Oktoberfest at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia. The South Carolina Philharmonic opens with a dramatic overture and closes with one of the master's most popular symphonies. In between the orchestra welcomes pianist Hugo Kitano for the third of Beethoven's five piano concertos. After that there are highlights from another Oktoberfest concert, this time with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. They perform Baroque music by Gluck and J. S. Bach.

Dec 1 & 3
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: European Delights
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor

Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol
Debussy: Iberia
Ravel: Alborado del grazioso

The French Connection
Matthew Hanna, clarinet; Christopher Tavernier, piano

Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Debussy: L'Isle Joyeuse
                   Premiere Rhapsodie
Chopin: Etudes
Messager: Solo de concours
Liszt: Grand gallop chromatique

Great music from Europe fills this edition of Carolina Live.  Maestro Dmitry Sitkovetsky leads the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's joyful Capriccio Espagnol, the haunting Iberia by Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel's Alborado del grazioso.  Then two talented soloists work together to bring you The French Connection—clarinetist Matthew Hanna and pianist Christopher Tavernier play music by Francis Poulenc, Claude Debussy, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt and more.  Make sure to join us for this European musical "travelogue" on Carolina Live.

Dec 8 & 10
South Carolina Philharmonic: Symphonie Fantastique!
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Brad Edwards, trombone

Tomasi: Trombone Concerto
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Choirs of Anderson University: Choral Masterworks
Richard Williamson, Director of Choral Activities

Haydn: selections from The Creation
Mendelssohn: Three Sacred Songs
Handel: Worthy Is the Lamb from Messiah

The music on this edition of Carolina Live comes to you from the Palmetto State—from an excellent orchestra, then from the Choral program at a fine university.  The South Carolina Philharmonic presents two works: Henri Tomasi's Trombone Concerto, with Brad Edwards the soloist, plus Hector Berlioz' groundbreaking  Symphonie Fantastique.  Then you'll hear performances from a number of Choral Masterworks concerts held at Anderson University, with music by Haydn, Bach, Mendelssohn and Handel.  Orchestral flair and vocal brilliance--yours to enjoy on this Carolina Live.

Dec 15 & 17
Winston-Salem Symphony & Chorus Chamber Singers:
Robert Moody, conductor; Christopher Gilliam, Symphony Chorus Director

Handel: Messiah

George Frideric Handel's Messiah is a long-established holiday favorite, though it wasn't originally written as a Christmas work.  It actually debuted in the month of April, but for multitudes of classical listeners it is now considered something to be enjoyed at holiday time.  It's performed by the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Symphony Chorus Chamber Singers, and it will be a stirring addition to your December delights.

Dec 22 & 24
Bel Canto Company: Holiday Reflections
Welborn Young, conductor

This is a Christmas concert featuring a large variety of noted classical composers such as Mendelssohn, Handel and Praetorius and also a wealth of music from gifted non-classical musicians.    

This Carolina Live program is a Christmas delight, a concert by the Greensboro vocal group Bel Canto containing an abundance of familiar traditional music of the season, as well as pieces that are not quite as well known.  From classical works by Handel, Mendelssohn and Praetorius to spirituals such as Go Tell It On The Mountain, this holiday offering such certainly has enough "gifts" to make your holiday merry indeed!

Dec 29 & 31
USC Symphony Orchestra: Segev Plays Elgar
Donald Portnoy, conductor; Inbal Segev, cello

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite
Elgar: Cello Concerto in e-minor
Bach: Sarabande from Cello Suite in C

Charleston Symphony Orchestra
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in c-minor

Music from two excellent South Carolina locations is featured in this program.  From Columbia the USC Symphony Orchestra performs cello works by Elgar and Bach, with guest artist Inbal Segev.  Then from Charleston that city's symphony orchestra plays the Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms.  Two cities, one marvelously full program on this Carolina Live.

Jan 5 & 7
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Three Meditations
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Andres Diaz, cello

Saint-Saens: The Swan from Carnival of the Animals
Bernstein: Three Meditations from Mass
Dvorak: Symphony No. 6 in D

The Palmetto Mastersingers
Lillian Quackenbush, Artistic Director

Souls of Love – a varied concert of sacred, popular and
classical selections

Music for the mind and the heart is presented on this edition of the program.  We begin with a concert titled Three Meditations by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.  The title refers to music by Leonard Bernstein – Three Meditations from Mass – and the evening's music includes the lovely The Swan by Camille Saint-Saens and Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 6 in D.  We then feature highlights from the concert Souls of Love from The Palmetto Mastersingers, a wonderful ensemble known as "South Carolina's Musical Ambassadors."  They offer music from a variety of composers including Rachmaninoff, John Dowland, Alex North and Billy Joel.

Jan 12 & 14
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Chamber Extravaganza and Oktoberfest
Edvard Tchivhel, conductor; Amy Yang Hazlett, bassoon; Stephen K. Wilson, trombone

Korngold: Much Ado About Nothing
Rota: Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra
Weill: Threepenny Opera Suite
Weber: Symphony No. 1 in C
Strauss: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Enjoy music from two concerts by the Greenville Symphony on this Carolina Live.  The Chamber Orchestra offers a fascinating group of selections from the concert Chamber Extravaganza—music by Korngold, Nino Rota and Kurt Weill.  Then the Symphony plays two highlights from an Oktoberfest concert—Carl Maria von Weber's Symphony No. 1 in C and Richard Strauss' Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.  There's wonderful variety to be found in this Carolina Live, so make sure to join us.

Jan 19 & 21
Winston-Salem Symphony:  Myers Conducts Tchaikovsky Timothy Myers, conductor; Dmitri Vorobiev, piano

Higdon: Machine
Mazzoli: These Worlds in Us
Ravel: Concerto for Piano in G
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in b-minor

A guest conductor holds the reins of the Winston-Salem Symphony in a concert titled Myers Conducts Tchaikovsky.  That Russian great is represented by his Symphony No. 6 in b-minor, but you'll also hear the fascinating Concerto for Piano in G by Maurice Ravel, with guest pianist Dmitri Vorobiev in the solo spot.  There's also Machine by contemporary composer Jennifer Higdon and These Worlds in Us by Missy Mazzoli.  Tchaikovsky, yes, but a whole lot more!

Jan 26 & 28
Greenville Symphony Chamber Orchestra: Humans and Animals
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; Lisa Kiser and David Gross, pianos; Hugh Floyd, narrator

Shchedrin: Carmen Suite
Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 1
Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals

Music Director and conductor Edvard Tchivzhel has chosen some wonderful pieces for the concert that fills this edition of Carolina Live.  The concert's title is Humans and Animals, and the Greenville Symphony Chamber Orchestra brings you Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin's Carmen Suite, Italian composer Ottorino Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 1, and the always-delightful Carnival of the Animals by French great Camille Saint-Saens. Both the human and animal aspects of your musical makeup will be satisfied by this Carolina Live.

Bradley Fuller / South Carolina Public Radio

“If you’re afraid of getting into Shakespeare, start with the music.”

For Dr. Sarah Williams, associate professor of music history at the University of South Carolina, the sometimes-challenging task of understanding the works of William Shakespeare can be made easier -- and more enjoyable -- through music. A specialist in the popular music and culture of England in Shakespeare’s time, Sarah suggests that common notions about the playwright and his works often miss the mark.

Bradley Fuller / South Carolina Public Radio

Traditionally, a night at the symphony has entailed dressing up. For performers and audience members alike, the sight of a sharply-dressed crowd is nearly as much of a given as the sound of orchestral music.   

But the move toward a more casual concert experience is becoming a tradition in its own right, including in the Palmetto State.

After two decades, the South Carolina Philharmonic’s annual “Beethoven & Blue Jeans” concert continues to offer classical music in a casual-clothes setting.

It’s not every day that the musicians of Fort Jackson’s 282nd Army Band have the opportunity to perform alongside an organist.

“This is very unique. This usually doesn’t happen,” Bandmaster George T. Bauer says of the ensemble’s upcoming Veterans Day Concert. With fifteen brass players, three percussionists, and an organist performing selections by composers ranging from J.S. Bach to Maurice Duruflé, the concert is far from what many might think typical for one given by a military band.

Dr. Billy Taylor and Nancy Wilson with Marian McPartland

Jul 19, 2018
Marian McPartland with Billy Taylor and Nancy Wilson, New York, 1998
RJ Capak

Dr. Billy Taylor (1921–2010) was a pianist, composer and educator. He dedicated his life to teaching jazz history and was a regular voice heard on NPR, making jazz accessible to a large audience and putting public radio on the cultural map. Brilliant song stylist Nancy Wilson also worked for NPR as host of Jazz Profiles, a companion series to Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. This special edition commemorates the 20th anniversary of Piano Jazz in 1999.

Wynton Marsalis and Marian McPartland

Jul 19, 2018
Marian McPartland and Wynton Marsalis, New York, 1990
RJ Capak

Wynton Marsalis is a trumpeter, composer, and educator. He is the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and is an active promotor of music to young audiences. Since Marsalis’ debut album in 1982, he has released more than 60 jazz and classical recordings and has earned nine Grammy Awards. In 1997 his oratorio, Blood on the Fields, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the first jazz composition ever to do so. In this 1990 Piano Jazz session, Marsalis and McPartland delve into their standard repertoires with “I Cover the Waterfront.”

Peter Cincotti and Marian McPartland

Jul 19, 2018
Marian McPartland and Peter Cincotti, Washington, D.C., 2004

Peter Cincotti is a pianist, composer, and vocalist who broke onto the music scene at a notably young age. He started learning the piano when he was just a toddler and at seven was invited to play with Harry Connick Jr, after impressing the singer through an impromptu performance during a live concert. At age 18 Cincotti released his eponymous debut album, which reached Number 1 on the Billboard jazz charts, making him the youngest artist ever to do so.

Dizzy Gillespie and Marian McPartland

Jul 18, 2018
Marian McPartland and Dizzy Gillespie, 1985
Mark Vinci

Dizzy Gillespie (1917–1993) was a true musical innovator. Gillespie not only revolutionized 1940s jazz by becoming one of the first inventors of bebop, but he also helped introduce the Afro-Cuban jazz movement through his love of Latin music. With his puffed cheeks and bent trumpet, he is one of the most recognizable faces in the music world. On this Piano Jazz from 1985, the Cheraw, SC native tells McPartland about his induction into the South Carolina Hall of Fame, and the two collaborate on Gillespie’s standard “Night in Tunisia.”

George Shearing and Marian McPartland

Jul 18, 2018
Marian McPartland and George Shearing, New York City, 1980

George Shearing (1919–2011) was an internationally acclaimed pianist, arranger, and composer. Born in London, Shearing showed an affinity for music as a child but he did not officially start his career until he moved to the United States in 1947. In just two years he gained worldwide acclaim with the George Shearing Quintet, and the ensemble performed and recorded for nearly three decades. On this 1980 Piano Jazz, Shearing puts his classical influences on display as he plays an interpretation of his hit “Lullaby of Birdland.”

T. S. Monk and Marian McPartland

Jul 18, 2018
Marian McPartland and T. S. Monk, New York, 1995
RJ Capak

Percussionist T. S. Monk was born into the world of jazz, but it wasn’t until his late teens that he dedicated himself to music. His first performance was in 1970 with his father, the legendary pianist Thelonious Monk. Until his father’s passing in 1982, T. S. Monk focused on recording and performing, and by 1986 his family had established the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. On this 1995 Piano Jazz, Monk talks to McPartland about his father’s legacy, and bassist Scott Colley joins them for a trio on the standard “Blue Monk.”

Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland

Jul 17, 2018
Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland, New York City, 1978

Composer, arranger, and pianist Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981) was essential to the 1930s swing era and a major force in the bebop revolution of the 1940s. Her peers included Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington, and Williams was deeply respected by her colleagues during a time when women musicians struggled to be treated as equals, especially in the jazz world. Today she is remembered as one of the greatest of her generation.

Steve Allen and Marian McPartland

Jul 17, 2018
Marian McPartland and Steve Allen,1988
Vanguard Photography

Steve Allen (1921–2001) became a household name in the 1950s as the first ever host of a late night talk show, which would become The Tonight Show. A legendary comedian and actor, Allen was also a musician and prolific composer, though he never learned to read music. He wrote thousands of songs and won a Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition. In this Piano Jazz session from 1988, Allen demonstrates his rich harmonics as he solos on one of the compositions he penned when he was still in his teens, a lush ballad called “No New Love.”

Chucho Valdés and Marian McPartland

Jul 16, 2018
Marian McPartland and Chucho Valdés, 2000
RJ Capak

Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés was born into a musical family and began playing as a child. His father was a pianist at the popular nightclub Tropicana, where Valdés met and performed with famous musicians, including Nat King Cole. In 1973 Valdés formed his Afro-Cuban jazz band Irakere, and the group won a 1980 Grammy for Best Latin Recording. On this 2000 Piano Jazz, Valdés tells McPartland about his Latin roots and plays his original “Claudia.”

Bill Crow, Joe Morello, and Marian McPartland: Hickory House Trio

Jul 16, 2018
Marian McPartland with Bill Crow (bass) and Joe Morello (drums), New York, 1991
RJ Capak

Bassist Bill Crow and drummer Joe Morello (1928 – 2011) were members of McPartland’s Hickory House Trio. The group performed together for more than a decade in one of the last 52nd Street jazz clubs in Manhattan. After leaving the trio, Morello and Crow went on to careers performing with Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan, respectively. On this 1991 Piano Jazz, the trio reunites for an hour to reminisce about the 1950s jazz scene and play some favorite tunes from their Hickory House days, including Duke Ellington’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”