Premier of Edward Hart’s “Under an Indigo Sky”

Friday, February 3, 2012

violinist Yuriy Bekker and composer Edward Hart

Edward Hart’s “love letter to South Carolina”—his latest violin concerto formally entitled Under an Indigo Sky—will premier at the Gaillard Auditorium on Saturday, February 11, 2012. Charleston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Yuriy Bekker (for whom the piece was written) will be featured with the orchestra led by guest conductor Darko Butorac, the Music Director of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra.

In the video below, the soloist and composer talk about their collaboration on this work—and about the 1686 Stradivarius violin that Yuriy will play for this occasion.

Each of the three movements is dedicated to a region of South Carolina: “Fast Flowing Rivers” for Columbia and the Midlands, “Warm Salt Air” for Charleston and the Coast, and “Misty Blue Horizon” for Greenville and the Upstate (see the composer’s notes below).

This CSO Masterworks Series concert will take place at 7:30 P.M. at the Gaillard Auditorium. The program for the concert includes Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, Edward Hart’s Under an Indigo Sky, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92. Learn more at


Notes by the Composer

Under an Indigo Sky
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Written for Yuriy Bekker

It is a privilege to have your music played by an exceptionally gifted musician. It is especially meaningful when that performer is your friend. That is why I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to write this violin concerto for my friend, Yuriy Bekker. Since first meeting some years ago, I have wanted to write him a substantial work not only because we are friends, but because he plays the violin the way I would want to if I could play. In short, he makes all the right musical choices. I am also fortunate that we share much in common as it relates to musical taste and style.

In a way, Under an Indigo Sky is a love letter to my home state, South Carolina. I am continually amazed and thankful for the natural and cultural diversity of this relatively small place. I have attempted to musically capture three distinct yet related regions of our state with an eye not only to the landscapes, but the feel and “soul” of the places.

Movement I
Fast Flowing Rivers –The Midlands
The Broad, Congaree, and Saluda Rivers are an important part of the greater Columbia landscape. At times, especially after heavy rain, these rivers move quickly creating an impressive natural display and an interesting metaphor for Columbia’s role in our state, a place of fast flowing and powerful political, educational, and economic currents. At other times, these rivers can flow gracefully and gently through the countryside reflecting the warm and genteel nature of the people of the Midlands.

Movement II
Warm Salt Air – The Coast
With its coastal location and sub-tropical climate, Coastal South Carolina’s weather can sometimes resemble a warm, wet, briny blanket. Though this might seem uncomfortable to some, these qualities in the right measurements can produce a lush and magical atmosphere. Imagine a May sunset over looking the water with just the right temperature and a sea breeze moving softly through the Palmetto trees.

Movement III
Misty Blue Horizon – The Upstate
The Blue Ridge Mountains, which dominate the Northern horizon, seem to give the Upstate a cool verdant freshness found in no other region of South Carolina. The early morning light offers dramatic vistas filled with broad strokes of blue, green, and purple. This landscape elicits a sense of awe, wonder, and reverent reflection along with a sense of gratitude toward its Creator.


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