arts and culture

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

Feb 2 & 4
Winston-Salem Symphony & Chorus: Mozart's Requiem
Jessica Morel, conductor; Christopher Gilliam, Chorus conductor
Mozart: Requiem in D-minor

Greenville Symphony: Arabian Nights
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; Laura Colgate, violin

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

Two strong orchestras and two spectacular musical works are found on this edition of Carolina Live.  The Winston-Salem Symphony and Chorus present the Requiem in D-minor by Mozartfrom a March 2019 concert at Wait Chapel of Wake Forest University.  Then the Greenville Symphony plays Nikolai Rimsky-Korsavov's oh-so-romantic Scheherazade in a January 2019 concert.  It's an intriguing pairing of musical masterworks, so make sure to join us.

Feb 9 & 11
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.

Feb 16 & 18
Rutherford Chamber Consort: Vessels of Song
Sharon Lawrence,  Artistic Director

Paganini: Cantabile
H.H.A. Beach: Romance
Galay: Klezmer Tunes with a Classical Touch
Kogan: Klezmer Dance Suite
Schubert: String Quintet in C

Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Keys of Beethoven
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Music Director; Lukas Geniusas, piano

Barber: Adagio for Strings
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C-minor

This edition of the program begins with a concert by the Rutherford Chamber Consort titled Vessels of Song.  Some of those vessels are captained by familiar composers such as Paganini and Schubert, but a main part of the concert blends the distinctive sound of klezmer music with classical in a set titled "Klezmer in the Mountains."  The second part of Carolina Live has highlights from a concert by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra—Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C-minor.

Feb 23 & 25
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Love Stories
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Francesca da Rimini
Strauss: Don Juan
Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Two brilliant composers provide the music for a concert by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra titled Love Stories.  From Tchaikovsky come his oh-so-romantic Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Francesca da Rimini.  Then Richard Strauss' symphonic poem Don Juan is followed by a suite from his opera Der Rosenkavalier.  There's a great chance you'll love the musical "stories" told on this Carolina Live.

Mar 1 & 3
Broyhill Chamber Ensemble

Beethoven: Sonata No. 8 in G
Brahms: Piano Quintet in f-minor

Western Piedmont Symphony: Masterworks IV
John Gordon Ross: conductor

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in a-minor

The annual Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, NC, is famous for the quality of its chamber music offerings.  The Festival's resident chamber music group is the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, who begin this week's edition of Carolina Live with Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in G and also play Beethoven's Piano Quintet in f-minor.  You'll then hear Felix Mendelssohn's delightful Symphony No. 3 in a-minor, his "Scottish" symphony, played by the Western Piedmont Symphony.  Enjoy the variety on this show. 

Mar 8 & 10
South Carolina Philharmonic: Springtime & Shaw
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Tessa Lark, violin

Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C, "Linz"
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D

The marvelous South Carolina Philharmonic has a concert from its Masterworks series for us.  It's Springtime & Shaw, featuring Mozart's Symphony No. 36 in C, "Linz," as well as one of the most respected of all works for violin—Beethoven's  Violin Concerto in D, with Tessa Lark in the solo violin spotThe orchestra also has two shorter works for you to enjoy, so please make sure to join us for this edition of Carolina Live.

Mar 15 & 17
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Trumpet Overture
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Brandon Ridenour, trumpet

Mendelssohn: Overture for Orchestra in C
Schubert: Fantasia in f-minor
Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in E-flat
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D

Several of the greatest of the great composers contribute mightily to this edition of Carolina Live.  Dmitry Sitkovetsky leads the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in an Overture for Orchestra in C by Felix Mendelssohn, the Fantasia in f-minor by Franz Schubert, then a Trumpet Concerto in E-flat by Franz Joseph Haydn featuring guest trumpeter Brandon Ridenour.  The concert is topped off by the Symphony No. 2 in D by the marvelous symphonist Jean Sibelius.  It's a collection of diverse selections by a wonderful group of composers.

Mar 22 & 24
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Strauss Squared
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor

R. Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
J. Strauss Jr.: Overture to Die Fledermaus
Set of Waltzes and Polkas

Two supremely talented Strausses provide the music for this edition of the program.  Richard Strauss' heroic music is front and center with his major work Ein Heldenleben, and Johann Strauss Jr.'s rich treasure trove of music provides the Overture to Die Fledermaus and the Emperor, Voices of Spring and Blue Danube Waltzes, plus shorter delights such as the Pizzacato and Hunt Polkas.  Two quite different Strausses, but a consistent musical delight for you…

Mar 29 & 31
Winston-Salem Symphony: Mozart and Shostakovich
Robert Moody, conductor; Orion Weiss, piano

Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Concerto in C for Piano and Orchestra
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 in e-minor

The Winston-Salem Symphony and conductor Robert Moody present a concert titled Mozart and Shostakovich, and the title tells you the source of the music.  From Mozart we hear his popular Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and the Concerto in C for Piano and Orchestra, with guest pianist Orion Weiss.  Dmitri Shostakovich is represented by his dramatic Symphony No. 10 in e-minor.  Enjoy the works of these two significant composers on this Carolina Live.

Apr 5 & 7
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Tcheers for Tchaikovsky
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; Do-Hyun Kim, piano

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor
Symphony No. 5 in F-minor

Two major works by Tchaikovsky fill a stirring concert by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.  Conductor Edvard Tchivzhel has chosen the Russian great's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor with guest pianist Do-Hyun Kim, then follows that with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in F-minor.  Both are well-known and popular works, and they're yours to enjoy on Carolina Live.

Arp 12 & 14
Winston-Salem Symphony: The Rite of Spring
Timothy Redmond, conductor; Brian French, trombone; David Wulfeck, trombone;  Erik Salzwedel, Bass trombone; Matt Ransom, Tuba

Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D Major
Higdon: Low Brass Concerto
Haydn: The Representation of Chaos from The Creation
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Timothy Redmond makes his debut as Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony in a richly diverse concert.  You'll hear Mozart's Symphony No. 35, Jennifer Higdon's intriguing Low Brass Concerto, The Representation of Chaos from Haydn's The Creation and Igor Stravinsky's groundbreaking The Rite of Spring.  It's a fascinating blend for you to enjoy on Carolina Live.

Apr 19 & 21
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.

Apr 26 & 28
Rutherford Chamber Consort: Plus Jeune que le Printemps
Sharon Lawrence, Artistic Director

Ibert: Aria
Debussy: String Quartet in g-minor
Ravel: Introduction and Allegro

Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Leonard Bernstein at 100
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor and violinist

Bernstein: Overture to Candide
Serenade (after Plato's Symposium)
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

There's chamber music from the North Carolina foothills and symphonic music from the Triad on this Carolina Live.  The Rutherford Chamber Consort brings you chamber works by Jacques Ibert, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, with a gifted group of musicians at work. Then the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra focuses on the music of Leonard Bernstein as part of the 2018 celebration of his centennial.  You'll hear the Overture to Candide, the Serenade (after Plato's Symposium) and the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.  It's a winning combination on this edition of 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.”