arts and culture

Jim LaTallet

Note on April 2, 2020: If "musical equivalent of a particle accelerator" didn't give it away—this story was an April Fools' joke.

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates famously highlights music as one of the two disciplines necessary for the healthy functioning of a society. The philosopher even goes so far as to recommend that only two musical modes—the old-world equivalent of modern-day keys like C Major or E minor—be allowed in the ideal state: the Dorian and the Phrygian. Other modes, like the Lydian and Ionian, Socrates dismisses as unedifying.

Beethoven's First Piano Concerto with Phillip Bush

Feb 17, 2020
Bradley Fuller, South Carolina Public Radio

Not long after his arrival in Vienna in late 1792, a young Ludwig van Beethoven was beginning to make an impression in the musical city. The Austrian capital had only a year prior lost one of its other famous residents—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—and Beethoven showed promising signs of carrying the composer’s legacy forward into a new century. Like Mozart, Beethoven was skilled as both a performer and a composer, using talents in one specialty to highlight those in another. 

"The Reserve in Summer" from the series A Carolina Rice Plantation of the Fifties, ca. 1935, By Alice Ravenel Huger Smith (American, 1876 - 1958); Watercolor on paper;
Gift of the artist; 1937.009.0027027. Courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art

In the years after WWI, art, poetry, historic preservation, and literature flourished in Charleston, SC, and the Lowcountry during what has been called the Charleston Renaissance. Angela Mack, Executive Director & Chief Curator of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, talks with Walter Edgar about the people and circumstances that came together to create this flowering of the beaux arts in the Holy City.

Bradley Fuller, South Carolina Public Radio

Late nights are a frustrating fact of life for many musicians. Too often, the time after sundown is all that remains for performing, practicing, working against an upcoming deadline, or agonizing over an artistic quandary.

But for composer Thomas Palmer, a senior studying composition and clarinet performance at the Unviersity of South Carolina School of Music, there’s inspiration to be found even in the drudgery of a sleep-deprived state. His reed quintet Red-Eye (2019), recently published by Murphy Music Press, is a musical representation of staying up late.

Charleston Artist Honors Our Nation's Veterans

Dec 5, 2019
Mary Whyte painting of "Hank" a World War II Coast Guard Veteran from New Jersey
Victoria Hansen/ SC Public Radio

Charleston artist Mary Whyte secretly scoured the country painting portraits for seven years as part of her latest project, "We the People".  Her ambition is as extraordinary as her subjects; our nation's veterans.

"I really believe our truest Americans really are our veterans," says Whyte.

Known for her watercolor paintings depicting American life, Whyte became part journalist part historian for her latest venture.  She knew she wanted to depict a variety of veterans from each of the 50 states.  But she wasn't exactly sure where to find them.

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

May 3 & 5
South Carolina Philharmonic: Reimagining Vivaldi

Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian, violin

Vivaldi-Richter: The Four Seasons Recomposed
R. Strauss: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Anderson University Concert Choir: Choral Compilation
Richard A. Williamson, director

Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium
Gjeilo: Prelude
Cohen: Night Cadence
Trotta: Veni, Veni Emmanuel
Whitaker: Lux Aurumque

This edition of Carolina Live features both outstanding symphonic music and excellent choral offerings from the Palmetto State.  The South Carolina Philharmonic has a concert titled Reimagining Vivaldi, which features that composer’s The Four Seasons Recomposed, then you’ll hear music from Richard Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, inspired by his admiration of Jean Baptiste Lully.  The choral component of the program comes from the Choral Department of Anderson University, featuring a compilation of performances from the school’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.  Among the composers represented are Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitaker. 

May 10 & 12
Greensboro Symphony:
Vivaldi, Bach & Company
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Julia Zilberquit, piano

Copland: Suite from Appalachian Spring
Vivaldi/Bach: Concerto in A-minor for Piano & Strings
Concerto in D-minor for Piano & Strings
Bach: Marcello Adagio
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E-flat

There’s a teaming of two monumental composers on this Carolina Live.  The two are Antonio Vivaldi and JS Bach, and their combined talent and inspiration drive
two Concerti for Piano & Strings.  The guest pianist is the heralded Julia Zilberquit.  You’ll also enjoy a Suite from Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland and a strong work by Dmitri Shostakovich, his Symphony No. 9 in E-flat.  Wonderful music, with the Greensboro Symphony in fine form.

May 17 & 19
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: In the Company of Great Romantics

Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; Edisher Savitski, piano

Von Weber: Oberon
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C
Schumann: Symphony No. 4 in d-minor

The Greenville Symphony Orchestra and conductor Edvard Tchivzhel invite you to spend some wonderful time In the Company of Great Romantics.  You’ll hear Carl Maria von Weber’s Oberon, Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C with guest pianist Edisher Savitski, and the concert will conclude with Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in d-minor.  A distinguished group of Romantics for sure, and you’ll be glad you joined their company by joining us for this edition of Carolina Live.

May 24 & 26
Winston-Salem Symphony: A Concert for Peace

Robert Moody, conductor; Stephanie Foley Davis, Mezzo-Soprano
Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale
Dr. Christopher Gilliam, Director

Jenkins: The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
Bernstein: Symphony No. 1 (Jeremiah)

The combined power of the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Symphony Chorale is heard and felt on this Carolina Live, as the musicians perform Karl Jenkins’ compelling The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 (Jeremiah).  The latter, while certainly not as well-known as much of Bernstein’s other music, is a powerful work.  Please join us for this concert titled A Concert for Peace on Carolina Live.

May 31 & Jun 2
South Carolina Philharmonic:
Masterworks 5
Morihiko Nakahara, director/conductor; David Hou,
Mozart: Overture to La clemenza di Tito
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in e-minor
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in c-minor

The site of the concert featured in this Carolina Live program is Columbia, where music director and conductor Morihiko Nakahara leads the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra in a rich group of compositions. There’s Mozart’s Overture to La clemenza di Tito, then a masterwork of Frederic Chopin, his Piano Concerto No. 1 in e-minor with guest pianist David Hou.  To wrap things up in grand fashion the orchestra plays Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 in c-minor, so be sure to join us for this exciting evening of music.

June 7 & 9
Greenville Symphony Chamber Orchestra: Strings Galore
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; David Gross, piano; Kevin Lyons, trumpet

Rossini: Sonata No. 3 in C
Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano and Solo Trumpet
Tchaikovsky: Serenade in C

Palmetto Chamber Orchestra: Runs, Trills and Flirts
Suzanna Pavlovsky, conductor

Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A
Rossini: Duetto for Cello and Bass in D
Malats: Serenata Espanola
Williams: Schindler’s List

On this program you can enjoy two concerts from two South Carolina chamber orchestras.  The Greenville Symphony Chamber Orchestra has Strings Galore, with a sonata by Rossini, the Concerto for Piano and Solo Trumpet by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky’s lovely Serenade in C.  Then the Palmetto Chamber Orchestra has a concert titled Runs, Trills and Flirts, featuring Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A, the Duetto for Cello and Bass by Rossini, Joaquin Malats’ Serenata Espanola and the beautiful Theme from Schindler’s List by John WilliamsTwo concerts, two orchestras…a double treat for you.

June 14 & 16
Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra: Redmond Conducts Sibelius
Timothy Redmond, conductor; Steven Moeckel, violin

Stravinsky: Pulcinella: Suite
Barber: Violin Concerto
Bach: Violin Concerto No. 1 – mvmt 3
Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in e-minor

Timothy Redmond is Music Director and conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony, but this program takes you back to his first time leading the orchestra.  As special guest he conducted Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A, Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto and Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1 in e-minor.  It was seen as an “audition” concert, and as the permanent position proves, Maestro Redmond passed with flying colors!

June 21 & 23
South Carolina Philharmonic: The Rite of Spring
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor
SC Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Neil Casey, conductor

Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakov: Night on Bald Mountain
Prokofiev: Suite from Cinderella
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Several of the greatest figures in Russian musical history provide the selections featured in this edition of Carolina Live.  The concert’s title is The Rite of Spring,  and that groundbreaking work by Igor Stravinsky is performed by the South Carolina Philharmonic, which also presents a Suite from Cinderella by Sergei Prokofiev.  The music begins with Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, in a re-orchestration by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; that’s played by the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. It’s powerful music for any season on Carolina Live.

June 28 & 30
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Cinema Music
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Cho-Liang Lin, violin

Rodgers & Hammerstein: South Pacific Overture
Williams: Theme from Schindler’s List
Schifrin: Tango Concertantes
Bernstein: Magnificent Seven Suite
Hermann: Psycho Suite for Strings
Korngold: The Adventures of Robin Hood

South Carolina Philharmonic: Dazzling
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Gilles Vonsattel, piano

Barber: Overture to The School for Scandal
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F
Frank: The Mestizo Waltz

There’s music from two exciting concerts by two terrific orchestras on this edition of the program.  The Greensboro Symphony offers Cinema Music, with selections from South Pacific, Schindler’s List, The Magnificent Seven, Psycho and much more.  Then the South Carolina Philharmonic dazzles with Samuel Barber’s Overture to The School for Scandal, George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with guest pianist Gilles Vonsattel and The Mestizo Waltz by Gabriela Lena FrankIt’s a truly dazzling collection of music from two fine orchestras, so please make sure to join us!

Jul 5 & 7
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Violin Virtuosos
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor and violin; Mayuko Kamio, Risa Hokamura and Majorie Bagley, violins

Vivaldi: Concerto for Four Violins and Cello in B-minor
Saint-Saens: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B-minor
Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole for Violin and Orchestra
Sarasate: Navarra Fantasy for Four Violins and Orchestra

There’s a spectacular program of violin music on this edition of Carolina Live.  Four distinctly talented musicians fill the spotlight in a c0ncert by the Greensboro Symphony titled Violin Virtuosos.  Dmitry Sitkovetsky, the orchestra’s Music Director and conductor, is also an internationally-acclaimed violinist, and he’s joined by Mayuko Kamio, Risa Hokamura and Majorie Bagley in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins and Cello and Pablo de Sarasate’s Navarra Fantasy for Four Violins and Orchestra.  There’s also music by Saint-Saens and Lalo, so make sure you hear the program.

Jul 12 & 14
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Vive La France
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Rutherford Chamber Consort: Vessels of Song

Schubert: String Quintet in C Major

This edition of Carolina Live is filled by just two works, but each is a major one.  The groundbreaking Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz is performed with appropriate grace and power by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Edvard Tchivzhel.  Then the Rutherford Chamber Consort plays a significant chamber work by Franz Schubert, his String Quintet in C Major.  Two selections, filling almost two hours of musical pleasure for you…

Jul 19 & 21
Palmetto Chamber Orchestra: Mozart and Salieri
Suzanna Pavlovsky, conductor

Salieri: Sinfonia in D, “La Veneziana”
Mozart:  Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat for Violin, Viola and    
Fantasia in d-minor
Rosenblatt: Mozartino

Tesla Quartet

Haydn: String Quartet in A
Prokofiev: String Quartet in F

It’s exciting to present music played by an excellent ensemble that has never been on Carolina Live before, and we do that in this program.  It’s the Columbia-based Palmetto Chamber Orchestra, with a concert titled Mozart and Salieri, and as the title indicates, the music of those two great composers is featured.  There’s Salieri’s Sinfonia in D “La Veneziana,”plus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat for Violin, Viola and Orchestra and his Fantasia in d-minor.  The concert ends with the American premiere of a piece titled Mozartino.  Our program then presents some stirring chamber music by Haydn and Prokofiev performed by the Tesla Quartet, so make sure to join us for this Carolina Live.


Jul 26 & 28
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky and Beethoven
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Barry Douglas, piano

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 2
October from The Seasons
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F

Broyhill Chamber Ensemble

Haydn: Trio in G
Schumann: Piano Quartet in E-flat

You can enjoy both a terrific symphony orchestra and a top-notch chamber ensemble on this Carolina Live program.  The Greensboro Symphony plays two selections by Tchaikovsky, including the Piano Concerto No. 2 with guest pianist Barry Douglas.  They then perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F.  The highly-respected Broyhill Chamber Ensemble performs Haydn’s Trio in G and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat. It’s a strong combination of performers and compositions, so please join us.

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.”