Chamber Music

Selecting the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra

Jun 7, 2019
Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra members carry their insturments in downtown Charleston
Victoria Hansen

They are sure signs of Spoleto in downtown Charleston; instrument toting musicians and scorching heat.  Among the jostling violin cases, is Shannon Fitzhenry.  She’s back for her second year with the annual Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, one of 92 musicians chosen to play.

“The goal is to get up in time to warm up before rehearsal,” she laughs.  The Charleston native grew up with Spoleto, but admits she didn't fully appreciate it until she  moved away to study music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland.

Spoleto Festival Hopes to Inspire Children through Music

May 30, 2019
Chamber Music musicians plays for kids at Sanders Clyde Elementary School in downtown Charleston
Victoria Hansen

Chamber music and children may seem like an unusual combination.  But don't tell that to Geoff Nuttall.  The director of Spoleto’s Chamber Music Series works a room of fourth and fifth graders like the strings of his violin, with charisma and class.

“Music has been such a huge part of my life, said Nuttall.  “If there’s any way we can just open the ears and the eyes of a few of these kids it would be a great thing.”

The JACK Quartet
Shervin Lainez

Coordinated playing is essential for the members of an internationally-recognized string quartet... coordinated choreography, not so much.

Unless that quartet is taking on Mark Applebaum’s Darmstadt Kindergarten.

Mayor John Tecklenburg performing at Spoleto USA, 2017.
Spoleto Festival USA

To kick off Spoleto Festival USA, we interviewed key figures and artists about their performances before they go live. Let us take you backstage to get the inside scoop from Spoleto’s general director, Nigel Redden; the mayor of Charleston, John Tecklenburg; and the director/host of the Chamber Music series, Geoff Nuttall.

Joshua Roman
Hayley Young

Joshua Roman's versatility and adventurous spirit as both a cellist and a composer have gained international attention. He performs his own composition, Riding Light, at the 2017 Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series. He talks with Bradley Fuller about the piece, about the challenges of playing his own work, and about why he calls himself a "curator."

The Rolston String Quartet: Jonathan Lo, Cello; Hezekiah Leung, Viola; Jeffrey Dyrda, Violin; Luri Lee, Violin.
rolstonstringquartet.com

First Prize winner of the prestigious 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Rolston String Quartet has become Canada's newest ensemble attracting attention on the international stage.  As Germany's Südwest Press stated of their recent performance, "an impressive, deeply serious interpretation...highly sensitive, delicately transparent. A musical sound treasure, blissful."

Cellist Jonathan Lo talks with Bradley Fuller about the quartet's performances at the 2017 Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music series.