Music

Talking Classical Music with Sandra Nikolajevs

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
by Peter Ingle
Talking Classical Music with Sandra Nikolajevs

Note: this interview first appeared in the October 2017 issue of The Charleston Mercury. SANDRA NIKOLAJEVS is President and Artistic Director of Chamber Music Charleston which hosts its Ovation Series at The Dock Street Theatre and house concerts throughout the Charleston area. Sandra is also Principal Bassoonist of the Savannah Philharmonic, a position she... Read »

Spoleto Chamber Music Sizzles

Sunday, June 11, 2017
by Peter Ingle
Spoleto Chamber Music Sizzles

THE ONE CONSTANT each year at Spoleto USA, and the one show that everyone should try to get to, is the Chamber Music Series at The Dock Street Theatre. The performances are world-class sublime and the Dock Street’s size and setting could not be better for the occasion. When you step inside those walls... Read »

Cinema and Sound — Marriage and Magic

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
by Peter Ingle
Cinema and Sound — Marriage and Magic

IF YOU CAN STILL GET A TICKET, this is a fun show for several reasons. The main reason is pianist Stephen Prutsman of classical, jazz, fusion, and other musical renown who is the emcee, keyboard player, and driving force behind it. Accompanying Mr. Prutsman live on stage are four string players from the Spoleto... Read »

Spoleto’s Eugene Onegin: the Forest and the Trees

Saturday, May 27, 2017
by Peter Ingle
Spoleto’s Eugene Onegin: the Forest and the Trees

THE TREES STOLE THE SHOW. Innovative and stunning in their own right (worthy of a modern art gallery), they dwarfed the singers, restricted the stage to one quarter of its depth, and distracted from the performance. The otherwise stark set had a warehouse look and industrial feel that modern designers prefer but which leave... Read »

Pianist Soyen Kate Lee at IPS

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
by William Furtwangler
Pianist Soyen Kate Lee at IPS

THIS YEAR’S International Piano Series at College of Charleston ended with a splendid concert by Korean-American pianist, Soyen Kate Lee, who displayed remarkable insight and technique, coupled with a model of programming. For the first part of her performance, Lee stuck to the twentieth century, mainly with works by the Russian mystic, Alexander Scriabin. Among five Scriabin... Read »

Joan Baez Triumphs at the Music Hall

Thursday, March 17, 2016
by Carol Furtwangler
Joan Baez Triumphs at the Music Hall

TO HAVE THE CHANCE to see and hear a live performance by Joan Baez, whose music-making and dedication to righting wrongs have spanned over 55 years, and who started her stellar career at about the same time as many of us in the sold-out audience Wednesday night, is nothing short of a miracle. How... Read »

Pianist Robert McDonald Performs at CofC IPS

Saturday, February 20, 2016
by William Furtwangler
Pianist Robert McDonald Performs at CofC IPS

THE INTERNATIONAL PIANO SERIES of the College of Charleston Department of Music continued last Tuesday night with another of its remarkably talented guest performers: Robert McDonald, an artistically astute pianist and inspiring teacher. McDonald is on the piano faculty at New York’s Juilliard School of Music and Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute. He has performed with renowned... Read »

Judy Collins at Charleston Music Hall

Thursday, December 24, 2015
by Carol Furtwangler
Judy Collins at Charleston Music Hall

CHARLESTON MUSIC HALL is a wonderful venue for virtually any production, but seems particularly well-suited to the likes of Judy Collins who performed there live in concert on Tuesday evening. The sold-out crowd comprised plenty of folks of the same vintage as Collins, but also a few of those in the younger—in some cases, much... Read »

The Gaillard Welcomes CofC Orchestra

Friday, November 27, 2015
by Peter Ingle
The Gaillard Welcomes CofC Orchestra

THE CHANCE TO PERFORM in The Gaillard Center is now something very special, and it showed Monday night when the College of Charleston Orchestra, under the direction of Yuriy Bekker, debuted there with a wonderful, hour-long (free) concert. The full orchestra of 55-plus musicians, supplemented by several CSO players who teach at the College, played with a bright, tight,... Read »

Yuriy Bekker Leads CSO Chamber Orchestra

Sunday, November 22, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Yuriy Bekker Leads CSO Chamber Orchestra

YURIY BEKKER is making the rounds. Last month, he sat as concertmaster for the CSO at the gala opening of the new Gaillard Center. Ten days ago he was a soloist with the Missoula (Montana) Symphony where he performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. And this past weekend, he served as conductor to the CSO Chamber... Read »

Sai ya Kai yay!

Sunday, November 22, 2015
by Ty Collins
Sai ya Kai yay!

BLACK CULTURE is about freedom of expression and the gospel voice gives that free expression a vitality that surrounds and enfolds an audience, a community, and the world. Look What A Wonder is Walter Robinson’s gospel folk opera told in first person about the folk hero, Denmark Vesey (Horace Rodgers) and the 1820s’ black... Read »

Pepe Romero Quartet & The Munich Symphony

Sunday, November 15, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Pepe Romero Quartet & The Munich Symphony

THE POLISHED ELEGANCE of the Munich Symphony Orchestra was apparent from the start of Saturday night’s concert in the Gaillard Center. Mainly because they were not there. Unlike most orchestral performances, the orchestra was not on stage as patrons entered the hall and took their seats. There was none of the usual warming up.... Read »

IPS Hosts Pianist Vassilis Varvaresos

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
by William Furtwangler
IPS Hosts Pianist Vassilis Varvaresos

THE INTERNATIONAL PIANO SERIES presented by the College of Charleston Department of Music provided an electrifying display of musical skill Tuesday night at the Sottile Theatre featuring Greek pianist Vassilis Varvaresos. The 32-year old Varvaresos has performed in the U.S. at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, New York’s Morgan Library, the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston and... Read »

Ken Lam and CSO Debut at Gaillard Center

Sunday, November 8, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Ken Lam and CSO Debut at Gaillard Center

THE OFFICIAL GAILLARD CENTER DEBUT of new Music Director Ken Lam and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) started leisurely with an overture by Brahms, rose in grandeur with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and went wonderfully over the top with Sir William Walton’s spectacular Belshazzar’s Feast which calls for a large orchestra, an even... Read »

The Mighty Requiem That Could Have Been

Sunday, November 1, 2015
by Peter Ingle
The Mighty Requiem That Could Have Been

Sunday, October 25, 2015: I JUST PARKED MY CAR and am walking down George Street toward the Gaillard Center for the finale of this year’s Colour of Music Festival. The featured work will be Johannes Brahms’ largest and perhaps most profound work: A German Requiem, Opus 45. Although the requiem has been scheduled for nearly... Read »

Kudos to The Colour of Music Festival

Thursday, October 29, 2015
by Ty Collins
Kudos to The Colour of Music Festival

So be ye patient! Success, as we have come to accept it, is expressed as some metric, but we also accept the intrinsic, incalculable joy of the moment that it brings. So sums up Charleston’s third annual Colour of Music Festival (COMF). The audacity of classically trained musicians of color ascending the main stages... Read »

Russian Pianist Opens Colour of Music Festival

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Russian Pianist Opens Colour of Music Festival

WHEN SERGEI RACHMANINOV knew he would be going on tour in the United States in 1909, he wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 for the occasion as his “calling card.” His first piano concerto had been poorly received, which historians say threw the sensitive composer into a three-year depression until his second (and perhaps... Read »

Laquita Mitchell Lights Up St. Stephen’s Church

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Laquita Mitchell Lights Up St. Stephen’s Church

FOR AN EMERGING OPERA STAR who is accustomed to international venues and large audiences, soprano Laquita Mitchell certainly seems at home singing in a small church, as exemplified by her recent Colour of Music Festival performance in St. Stephen’s Church. Ms. Mitchell’s predilection for gospel—and her religious roots—were also evident in the poignant encore,... Read »

Library Society Hosts a 1715 Stradivarius

Thursday, June 25, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Library Society Hosts a 1715 Stradivarius

AFTER TWO CONCERTS this week at The Charleston Library Society featuring violin virtuoso Matteo Fedeli on a rare 1715 Stradivarius (“Ex Bazzini”), the time may have come to rename this venerable institution The Charleston Library and Music Society. Since Anne Cleveland took stewardship of the Society some six years ago, she has brought regular... Read »

Pianist Enrique Graf to Perform in New York

Thursday, June 18, 2015
by ChasToday
Pianist Enrique Graf to Perform in New York

ON JUNE 20, 2015 New Yorkers will have a rare opportunity to hear pianist Enrique Graf in recital. As part of the first season of 5@5 at DiMenna, a series of distinguished pianists, the concert will take place at 5 PM at the Mary Flager Cary Hall, 450 West 37th Street. (see the link to... Read »

Taylor Mac is Back!

Sunday, June 7, 2015
by Carol Furtwangler
Taylor Mac is Back!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT, the long-awaited return to Spoleto Festival USA (Yikes! Another three years later) of the iconic theater artist “Taylor Mac” generated a warehouse full of avid fans, newbies who just wanted to see what the sequins were all about, and perverts—I mean converts. The “warehouse”— actually, a perfectly charming space with a bar... Read »

Spoleto Chamber Standard Slips with Stamitz Quartet

Saturday, June 6, 2015
by William Furtwangler
Spoleto Chamber Standard Slips with Stamitz Quartet

SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA’S Chamber Music VIII Tuesday morning in the Dock Street Theatre presented the kind of performances which give chamber music a bad name. While the usual standard of this series is high, if not the highest, some of Tuesday’s selections where not up to the expected level these performers otherwise offer. Carl... Read »

A Luminous St. Matthew Passion by Westminster Choir

Thursday, June 4, 2015
by Peter Ingle
A Luminous St. Matthew Passion by Westminster Choir

THE WESTMINSTER CHOIR’S production of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Sottile Theater may prove to be one of the brightest lights at this year’s Spoleto Festival. It was a world-class concert featuring two choirs, essentially two orchestras, several fine baroque musicians, and a superb cast of soloists. Topping it off was the precise, polished... Read »

A Dismal, Discordant Decasia

Thursday, June 4, 2015
by William Furtwangler
A Dismal, Discordant Decasia

MONDAY EVENING at Spoleto Festival USA the Sottile Theatre found a nearly full house awaiting the festival orchestra under the baton of John Kennedy in two different compositions, both of them unbelievably loud and pushing discordant sounds way beyond what is generally accepted as modern music. Opening the concert was by Giacinto Scelsi (1905-88).... Read »

Nuttall and Friends in Top Form at Dock Street

Saturday, May 30, 2015
by William Furtwangler
Nuttall and Friends in Top Form at Dock Street

SATURDAY MORNING’S Spoleto Festival USA Sixth Chamber Music concert heralded a non-stop display of extraordinary music making: intense, polished and impassioned. Series host and violinist Geoff Nuttall explained in a brief introduction to Franz Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 “London” the composer’s use of humor and the background to the arrangement in chamber music form of a... Read »

Westminster Choir Inspires Wonder

Monday, May 25, 2015
by Carol Furtwangler
Westminster Choir Inspires Wonder

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS of renowned long-time conductor Joseph Flummerfelt, Joe Miller has more than maintained the unparalleled excellence of the Westminster Choir. Just when we thought the choir could not possibly get any better, Miller has brought his sparkling personality, his own style and expertise, to this storied academic choir that has been in... Read »

CAM Hosts Delightful Trio

Monday, April 27, 2015
by ChasToday
CAM Hosts Delightful Trio

By Maud and Bob Cox, special to CharlestonToday THE PROSPECT OF A CONCERT on Friday, April 14 in the beautiful performance room at 14 George Street, home of Spoleto Festival USA, was enticing. But who could have imagined the cascade of delight that entranced the audience? In what was the last of the Charleston Academy... Read »

A Magical Evening of Tango

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
by Peter Ingle
A Magical Evening of Tango

TANGO BUENOS AIRES brought its magic and magnetism to the Sottile Theatre on Monday night in one of the city’s finest displays of artistry this year. It was the fourth out of five events in the Charleston Concert Association’s 2014-2015 season, and it was a huge success. The show, entitled “the Song of Eva Perón,”... Read »

Gerard Schwarz Highlights CSO’s Elegance

Friday, February 20, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Gerard Schwarz Highlights CSO’s Elegance

ALL THE SELECTIONS on the program, like the evening itself, were polished and beautifully presented—in some ways making the difficult look easy. That was partly due to the ever-increasing elegance of our orchestra’s playing, and partly to guest conductor Gerard Schwarz’s measured precision with both his baton and his taste in programming. Before his distinguished... Read »

Sharing Their Passion for Classical Music

Saturday, February 14, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Sharing Their Passion for Classical Music

THE CORDOVA QUARTET began less than two years ago as a group of music students at Rice University. They are now the Young Professional Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin where they seem destined for a bright future. Andy Liang (vioin), Niccoló Muti (vioin), Blake Turner (viola), and Matt Kufchak (cello)... Read »

Another “Ovation” for Chamber Music Charleston

Sunday, November 16, 2014
by Peter Ingle
Another “Ovation” for Chamber Music Charleston

THE LAST HALF of the nineteenth century was a perfect storm for the arts. Classical forms were established, romanticism was at its height, and impressionism was starting to take shape. The possibilities for finely executed expression seemed endless. Nowhere was this more evident than in music, a delectable taste of which we heard at... Read »

Katherine Clarkson Sparkles at CAM

Sunday, November 9, 2014
by Carol Furtwangler
Katherine Clarkson Sparkles at CAM

FRIDAY AFTERNOON, the Charleston Academy of Music afforded our community a welcome opportunity to enjoy classical music, featuring the sparkling young soprano Katherine M. Clarkson. Part of CAM’s “Rush Hour Mini Concert” series, the concert took place in the Academy’s Recital Hall, a small but acoustically live room that seats about 35, so the... Read »

Ji Showcases Technique at IPS

Thursday, November 6, 2014
by William Furtwangler
Ji Showcases Technique at IPS

THE SECOND CONCERT of the CofC International Piano Series was supposed to feature Beth Levin, but she had to cancel at the last minute. Ran Dank, artistic director of the IPS, made use of his connections in the music world and secured a fitting replacement for Tuesday night’s concert in the person of young... Read »

Ashley Hall “Strings” Celebrate 10 Years

Friday, October 31, 2014
by Peter Ingle
Ashley Hall “Strings” Celebrate 10 Years

IT STARTED as the brainchild of Jill Muti during her first year as Head of School. As a flautist herself, she knew how much life is enriched by music, and she wanted to bring that experience to her students. Thus was born the Carolina Strings Academy which is open, not only to Ashley Hall girls, but... Read »

Taylor Festival Choir’s Breathtaking “Oktoberfest”

Thursday, October 30, 2014
by Lindsay Koob
Taylor Festival Choir’s Breathtaking “Oktoberfest”

WHEN I SHOWED UP at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul on the afternoon of Sunday, October 5 to catch the Taylor Festival Choir’s (TFC) fall concert, I had no intention of writing a review. But the event turned out to be such a spectacular display of choral wizardry that I... Read »

The Flight of a New Festival

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
by Peter Ingle
The Flight of a New Festival

STERLING ELLIOTT is a name you may hear in the future, but don’t necessarily count on seeing this young cellist in Charleston very often, because we may soon be too small for him. Sterling’s mastery, musicality, and personal charm were all evident Saturday night at Memminger Auditorium where he performed Victor Herbert’s (1859–1924) Cello... Read »

The Many Colours of Schubert

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
by Peter Ingle
The Many Colours of Schubert

WEST INDIES NATIVE, Joseph Bologna (Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, 1745–1799), is renowned as the first classical composer of African ancestry. Among other things, he was a champion fencer, fought in the French Revolution, and found his musical inspiration in Franz Joseph Haydn. No wonder that the samplings we heard Saturday evening at the Charleston... Read »

Musical Fare by CAM Faculty

Sunday, October 19, 2014
by Peter Ingle
Musical Fare by CAM Faculty

NINE WORKS by five composers played by six musicians in one hour. What a wonderful idea. Such was the recent concert by faculty members of the Charleston Academy of Music (CAM) as part of its ongoing series of free concerts. The players included Dr. Irina Pevzner, piano; Terry Muir, cello; Katherine Clarkson, soprano; Christine... Read »

CofC Opens IPS Series with a Flourish

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
by William Furtwangler
CofC Opens IPS Series with a Flourish

THE COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON Department of Music presented Tuesday night the opening program of its 2014-15 International Piano Series (IPS) with an electrifying demonstration of nineteenth-century piano virtuosity. The pianist was Ran Dank, newly appointed to the department. He is the director of piano studies and artistic director of the IPS. He is a gifted... Read »

CSO Starts 2014 with a “Mighty Five”

Friday, September 26, 2014
by Peter Ingle
CSO Starts 2014 with a “Mighty Five”

“GOD GRANT that our… guests may never forget today’s concert; God grant that they may forever preserve the memory of how much poetry, feeling, talent, and intelligence are possessed by the small but already mighty handful of Russian musicians.” This music critic’s quote from 1867—some 150 years ago—could well apply to the mighty group... Read »

Chamber Music Charleston Charms Again

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
by Peter Ingle
Chamber Music Charleston Charms Again

THIS TIME they did it at the Sottile Theater with a little help from Camille Saint-Saëns, Ogden Nash, and local actors Clarence Felder and Chris Weatherhead, along with a special dash of the always charismatic clarinetist, Charles Messersmith. Saint-Saëns wrote “The Carnival of the Animals” in 1886 after returning from an unsuccessful (Wikipedia calls it a... Read »

CAM Showcases Two Rising Talents

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
by Peter Ingle
CAM Showcases Two Rising Talents

THE CHARLESTON ACADEMY OF MUSIC (CAM) is a jewel whose luster keeps shining, as evidenced at their recent free (yes, free) concert on September 12 featuring pianist Micah McLaurin and violinist Victor Li. Micah, as many people know, is a Charleston native who studied at CAM with Enrique Graf and who is now at the... Read »

Micah Comes Home

Friday, May 23, 2014
by Lindsay Koob
Micah Comes Home

THE PAST EIGHT YEARS in Charleston have witnessed the emergence of perhaps the most notable and exciting musical prodigy in our fair city’s history: Micah McLaurin—and I’ve followed almost his entire artistic journey right from the start. After all, it was in my classical room at the much-missed Millennium Music store that I hosted his... Read »

Young CAM Musicians at MUSC on May 1

Thursday, April 24, 2014
by ChasToday
Young CAM Musicians at MUSC on May 1

The Charleston Academy of Music (CAM), sponsored by MUSC, will present a concert at noon on Thursday, May 1 at the Hollings Cancer Center, 86 Jonathan Lucas Street downtown. Three outstanding young musicians will be featured: Benjamin Halford (violin), Erick Won (violin), and Caleb Borick (piano)—pictured top-to-bottom. This is the third year CAM has... Read »

Yuriy Bekker Leads Impressive CofC Orchestra

Monday, April 21, 2014
by Lindsay Koob
Yuriy Bekker Leads Impressive CofC Orchestra

I DECIDED TO TAKE A BREAK from my duties for Delos—the CD label I write for—long enough to catch last Monday night’s concert at the Sottile Theater—featuring two really terrific soloists performing with the lately much-improved College of Charleston (CofC) Orchestra under the baton of Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Concertmaster and Acting Artistic Director,... Read »

UNED!TED Coming to Music Hall April 25

Friday, April 18, 2014
by Peter Ingle
UNED!TED Coming to Music Hall April 25

LAURA BALL, impresario extraordinaire and creator of UNED!TED, is spearheading yet another innovative musical collaboration, this time at Charleston Music Hall on John Street. From the piano, Laura will join classically trained and “pop fusion” violinist Rachel Kistler (who hails from North Carolina, attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, and now lives in Baltimore)... Read »

Sasha Starcevich Performs at CAM

Thursday, March 27, 2014
by Peter Ingle
Sasha Starcevich Performs at CAM

CHARLESTON ACADEMY OF MUSIC (CAM) is venturing beyond its studio on Rutledge Avenue to wonderful effect. Tuesday night—the time usually reserved for CAM’s Rush-Hour Mini Concerts—guest pianist Sasha Starcevich performed at the Library Society on King Street, playing works of Schubert and Chopin. Interestingly, as Library Society Director Anne Cleveland pointed out, the library... Read »

The Beauty and Thunder of Great Music

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
by William Furtwangler
The Beauty and Thunder of Great Music

THE AUDIENCE at the Sottile Theatre Tuesday night may never have heard the name of pianist Konstantinos Papadakis, but after his concert it is doubtful they will ever forget it. As part of the International Piano Series of the College of Charleston School of the Arts, Papadakis gave an extraordinary performance that left no... Read »

Where Does He Keep Finding Them?

Saturday, March 15, 2014
by Peter Ingle
Where Does He Keep Finding Them?

SUPERB CELLIST EDWARD ARRON has been bringing top-flight musicians to Ashley Hall for several years now: to teach and perform for students during the day, then play an evening concert in the intimate Sottile-Thomson Recital Hall—which Mr. Arron calls “the magical chamber,” for both its rich acoustics and the special concerts he hosts there.... Read »

Ken Lam Sparks CSO in Superb Masterworks

Friday, March 14, 2014
by William Furtwangler
Ken Lam Sparks CSO in Superb Masterworks

THE FIFTH MASTERWORKS concert of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra comprised four sterling performances of top-notch classical music under the lively and exacting baton of Ken Lam, who is being considered for the post of music director of the orchestra. Lam is one of six conductors chosen to lead a Masterworks concert this season. He... Read »

Di Wu Wows IPS Audience

Thursday, February 20, 2014
by William Furtwangler
Di Wu Wows IPS Audience

PIANIST DI WU saves the day—again. The third presentation of the College of Charleston School of the Arts International Piano Series in the Sottile Theatre Tuesday, February 18, was an exciting and beautiful concert. Though scheduled to showcase Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker, the series presented Chinese-American pianist Di Wu, a last minute substitute... Read »

Peter Nero Jazzes the Sottile

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
by Carol Furtwangler
Peter Nero Jazzes the Sottile

THE BEATLES HAVE NOTHING ON PETER NERO. The legendary pianist appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show 11 times, among many other achievements, honors and awards in a long and illustrious career. Nero created his magic for a good crowd braving the cold Tuesday night at the Sottile Theatre in the third of the Charleston... Read »

Roberto Plano Impresses at Sottile

Thursday, January 23, 2014
by William Furtwangler
Roberto Plano Impresses at Sottile

THE CofC INTERNATIONAL PIANO SERIES continued in its successful choice of top caliber concert pianists Monday evening, January 20, in the Sottile Theatre. Italy’s Roberto Plano, with impressive credentials as an orchestral soloist, a recitalist, and a chamber music—not to mention award winning—player, offered the IPS audience a different sort of  program. Plano, who provided effectively... Read »

Pianist Di Wu Surprises CSO Audience at Sottile

Friday, January 10, 2014
by William Furtwangler
Pianist Di Wu Surprises CSO Audience at Sottile

THE CHARLESTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S Third Masterworks concert for the 2013-14 season deserves a hearty bravo for programming, soloist, guest conductor, and orchestra. Thursday evening’s near capacity audience may have been more than a little off-put by the opening of the first item, John Harbison’s Remembering Gatsby (Foxtrot for Orchestra) which starts off atonally and... Read »

An Inspiring Collaboration

Monday, December 16, 2013
by Peter Ingle
An Inspiring Collaboration

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL ballet just set a noteworthy precedent. Three separate arts organizations in town came together this past weekend in a spirit of collaboration that exceeded expectations, delighted audiences, and showed what is possible. Laura Ball (Uned!ted) and Jonathan Tabbert (Charleston Dance Institute) got together several months ago and conceived the vision... Read »

Sean Kennard Plays all-Chopin Program

Friday, December 6, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Sean Kennard Plays all-Chopin Program

SEAN KENNARD and Frederic Chopin are a perfect combination. So much so that it was hard to distinguish between them last Tuesday night in an all-Chopin program at the Charleston Library Society, as part of the Guest Artist Series of the Charleston Academy of Music (CAM). Chopin, whose style is so recognizable, overflowed with... Read »

CMF Ensemble Radiates in Randolph Hall

Monday, November 25, 2013
by Peter Ingle
CMF Ensemble Radiates in Randolph Hall

CHARLESTON MUSIC FEST just gave the most pristine chamber concert this city has seen since Spoleto. Performing Saturday night at the College of Charleston’s Randolph Hall in a “Viennese” program, five string musicians played works by Austrian composers Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) and Franz Schubert (1797–1828), both noted for their illustrious chamber music. The... Read »

Mother-Daughter Cellos Steal the Show

Friday, November 22, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Mother-Daughter Cellos Steal the Show

25-YEAR-OLD Marta Bagratuni wields the cello with a confidence and mastery that belie her age. Music seems to naturally exude from every fiber in her being. And no wonder, considering that she is the child of two cellists and part of a large extended family of musicians who hale from Ukraine. Like her mother,... Read »

“Viennese Salon” Highlights Women and Music

Monday, November 11, 2013
by Peter Ingle
“Viennese Salon” Highlights Women and Music

GUEST PIANIST ANDREW ARMSTRONG—now familiar to Chamber Music Charleston audiences—was the one male constant in this CMC “Viennese Salon” that focused on female musicians. Playing to a nearly full Memminger Auditorium crowd on Saturday night, Mr. Armstrong and clarinetist Charles Messersmith opened the program by accompanying soprano Suzanne Fleming-Atwood who sang an absolutely glowing... Read »

Nathan Gunn Charms the Sottile

Thursday, November 7, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Nathan Gunn Charms the Sottile

BARITONE NATHAN GUNN has the rare ability to put an audience at ease right away. For the second event in the Charleston Concert Association’s 2013–14 season, Mr. Gunn performed a wide selection of works by American composers. Accompanied by his wife, pianist Julie Gunn, he charmed and delighted the Sottile Theatre crowd with 25... Read »

Amy Tan Featured at CAM “Mini” Concert

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Amy Tan Featured at CAM “Mini” Concert

IN THE MODEST Charleston Academy of Music (CAM) recital room on the second floor of 189 Rutledge Avenue, the “Rush Hour Mini Concerts”—purposely designed as 30-minute performances between work and dinner time—are typically packed. CAM, led by the indefatigable Eunjoo Yun, is a classical music school for children and teens, but it is their... Read »

A Fabulous Feast of Four Cellos

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
by Peter Ingle
A Fabulous Feast of Four Cellos

ASHLEY HALL IS DOING MUSIC RIGHT. Under the leadership of Head of School, Jill Muti, students are not only encouraged to play instruments, they are given ample time during the school day to hone their skills. To further infuse their inspiration, the Ashley Hall Performing Artists in Residence Program—with the generous support of a... Read »

Two Promising Vocalists at “Colour of Music”

Sunday, November 3, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Two Promising Vocalists at “Colour of Music”

IF YOU HAVE NEVER been inside St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Warren Street, you owe yourself a visit. The unobtrusive wooden building at the corner of Thomas Street boasts a gorgeous dark-paneled interior that may house the most extensive collection of stained-glass windows in Charleston. St. Mark’s was just one of many venues for... Read »

The Inimitable Sakura Myers

Saturday, November 2, 2013
by Peter Ingle
The Inimitable Sakura Myers

PIANIST SAKURA MYERS—on this occasion wearing a strapless, canary-yellow gown—makes a striking impression when she comes on stage. But it is when she starts playing that you really start paying attention. At the Colour of Music Festival “Ebony and Ivory Piano Recital Series” last Saturday, she played the piano as though it is her... Read »

A Chamber Music Highlight at “Colour of Music”

Friday, November 1, 2013
by Peter Ingle
A Chamber Music Highlight at “Colour of Music”

HOW OFTEN do you get the chance to hear two full quartets at one concert? Eight musicians at the top of their game, eager for some music making? Last Saturday at the Colour of Music Festival “Chamber Matinee Recital Series,” the first foursome to take the Dock Street Theatre stage were violinists Jessica McJunkins... Read »

Nathan Gumbs Makes the Organ Look Easy

Thursday, October 31, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Nathan Gumbs Makes the Organ Look Easy

AS PART OF the Colour of Music Festival “High Noon Organ Recital Series,” Nathan Gumbs performed last Saturday at the Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church on Glebe Street where he displayed a technique of polished precision. The most recognizable works on the program were by J.S. Bach (1685–1750)  and Max Reger (1873–1916) — two prolific... Read »

“Colour of Music” Embodies the Essence of the Arts

Monday, October 28, 2013
by Peter Ingle
“Colour of Music” Embodies the Essence of the Arts

The inaugural COLOUR OF MUSIC FESTIVAL was quietly spectacular. More than 100 musicians and 80 works were efficiently compressed into five days of organ recitals, chamber music matinées, piano solos, vocal concerts, and symphonic works at venues across the peninsula. The caliber of conductors, musicians, and singers who came from around the country and globe to participate was impressive, not... Read »

The Impeccable Shanghai Ballet

Thursday, October 24, 2013
by Eliza Ingle
The Impeccable Shanghai Ballet

THE CHARLESTON CONCERT ASSOCIATION opened its season with The Shanghai Ballet’s full scale production of the classic, folk-styled The Butterfly Lovers to a full house at the Sottile Theatre. The performance by the 33-year-old company was as much a display of perfect craftsmanship as any Chinese art form. The vibrant and intricate costumes, the... Read »

80 Classical Works in 5 Days

Friday, October 18, 2013
by ChasToday
80 Classical Works in 5 Days

IT’S ANOTHER FIRST FOR CHARLESTON. And it promises to be special, not just as a musical experience, but as an education—and perhaps as a sign of bigger things to come. In its inaugural event, THE COLOUR OF MUSIC FESTIVAL will perform at an array of venues on the peninsula for five days, from October... Read »

Rush-Hour Mini Concert is a Hit

Thursday, October 10, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Rush-Hour Mini Concert is a Hit

THE CHARLESTON ACADEMY OF MUSIC (CAM) opened its new series of “Rush-Hour Mini Concerts” this past Tuesday with two Mozart flute quartets performed by faculty members, and the place was packed—the place being being the recital library in CAM’s suite of rooms on Rutledge Avenue where at least two concerts per month are planned.... Read »

The Best Chamber Music in Charleston

Friday, October 4, 2013
by Peter Ingle
The Best Chamber Music in Charleston

EVEN THOUGH it’s been almost a week since I attended this Chamber Music Charleston concert, I keep thinking about the program. Partly because it started and ended with works by my favorite composer (J.S. Bach), but more so because of the piece that was sandwiched in between. I was familiar with the third and... Read »

Russian Pianist Showcases His Talent at IPS

Friday, September 27, 2013
by William Furtwangler
Russian Pianist Showcases His Talent at IPS

THE INTERNATIONAL PIANO SERIES at the College of Charleston featured the young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov in a mixed collection of classics. Kolesnikov played to an enthusiastic and nearly full house at the Sottile Theatre Tuesday evening, September 24. Opening with several items originally composed for harpsichord by Baroque genius Jean-Philipe Rameau (1683-1764), Kolesnikov... Read »

CAM is Coming On Strong

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
by Peter Ingle
CAM is Coming On Strong

The CHARLESTON ACADEMY of MUSIC (CAM) is shifting gears in a serious way. Now in its tenth year, CAM will be offering two different series of FREE CONCERTS by international guest artists, CAM faculty members, and honors students. The “Guest Artists Series” will include hour-long concerts by professionals from around the world, some of... Read »

CMC Charms with Austrian Music at Memminger

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
by Peter Ingle
CMC Charms with Austrian Music at Memminger

CHAMBER MUSIC CHARLESTON (CMC) continues to be one of the finest musical experiences in the region, as well as one of the best values for the money. The music and musicians are top rate, and the venues emanate a familial, relaxed ambience—the essence of “chamber” music. This is true not only of the CMC... Read »

CSO and Verdi Make the Rafters Ring

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
by Lindsay Koob
CSO and Verdi Make the Rafters Ring

THE VERDI REQUIEM and I go way back. Like all the way back to the first time I heard it performed in Vienna in the 1960s, as a thunderstruck boy of 14. Since coming home to Charleston in the early 1990s, I’ve performed it (as a chorus member) twice with the Charleston Symphony under... Read »

CMC Austrian Evening to Feature Kreisler & Schubert

Saturday, April 13, 2013
by ChasToday
CMC Austrian Evening to Feature Kreisler & Schubert

NEXT SATURDAY, APRIL 20, Chamber Music Charleston (CMC) will bring the spirit of Austria to Memminger Auditorium for the finale of its Kuhn & Kuhn Law Firm Memminger Concert Series. The concert will focus on Austria with special guest pianist Andrew Armstrong joining musicians of Chamber Music Charleston for a program of music by... Read »

Chu-Fang Huang Deeply Satisfying in IPS Finale

Monday, April 8, 2013
by Lindsay Koob
Chu-Fang Huang Deeply Satisfying in IPS Finale

One of the first things I learned when I arrived at the Sottile Theatre last Tuesday evening for the final recital of the College’s International Piano Series was that the evening’s distinguished pianist, Chu-Fang Huang, had changed her program completely. So much for my laboriously written program notes! But mild irritation turned to concern... Read »

Charleston Music Fest Offers Varied Program

Monday, April 8, 2013
by William Furtwangler
Charleston Music Fest Offers Varied Program

In Charleston Music Fest’s third concert of the 2012-13 season, a varied program from J.S. Bach’s “Chaconne” to Myroslav Skoryk’s “Karpathian Rhapsody” provided a sure-fire vehicle for the 26 year-old violinist Nazar Pylatyuk, a native of the Ukraine. The recital hall in the Simons Center at the College of Charleston was the venue Friday... Read »

CSO’s “Postcards from Abroad” a Success

Friday, March 29, 2013
by Lindsay Koob
CSO’s “Postcards from Abroad” a Success

THE CHARLESTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA delivered the fifth and final concert of their Chamber Orchestra series on Tuesday evening, delighting their sold-out Dock Street Theatre audience… despite a few problems. Their program, entitled “Postcards from Abroad,” offered a choice array of musical treasures both old and new from various corners of the globe, though the... Read »

Pianist Chu-Fang Huang at Sottile April 2

Monday, March 18, 2013
by ChasToday
Pianist Chu-Fang Huang at Sottile April 2

CHU-FANG HUANG, who will perform at the Sottile on Tuesday, April 2 as part of the International Piano Series, burst onto the music scene as a brilliant finalist in the Van Cliburn Piano Competition and won First Prize in the Cleveland Piano Competition. Her breathtaking recording of Scarlatti sonatas is available on the Naxos... Read »

Volodymyr Vynnytsky Leads Sottile Powerhouse

Saturday, March 16, 2013
by Peter Ingle
Volodymyr Vynnytsky Leads Sottile Powerhouse

WHAT TURNED OUT to be a barn-burner concert of works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev on Friday night began benignly with Gabriel Fauré’s Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, Op. 80—a piece (or combination of pieces) with an unusual history of transmutations. Its origins lie in a score that Fauré wrote in 1898 for a play by... Read »

Music Fest Trio “Triumphs” at Simons Center

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
by William Furtwangler
Music Fest Trio “Triumphs” at Simons Center

CHARLESTON MUSIC FEST performed on Friday, February 22 at the Recital Hall of the Simons Art Center at the College of Charleston. Lee-Chin Siow, violin, Natalia Khoma, cello, and Volodymyr Vynnytsky, piano provided sterling readings of two rarely heard works: Mozart’s Piano Trio in C Major, K. 548 and Ernest Chausson’s Piano Trio in... Read »

Pianist Ciro Foderé Triumphs at Sottile

Friday, February 22, 2013
by Lindsay Koob
Pianist Ciro Foderé Triumphs at Sottile

EMERGING URUGUAYAN PIANO VIRTUOSO Ciro Foderé delivered a magnificent recital on Tuesday evening at the Sottile Theatre as part of the College of Charleston’s dependable International Piano Series. Foderé—one of Artist-in-Residence Enrique Graf’s most accomplished and promising protégés—is a familiar figure to Charleston audiences, having given many fine recitals and several noteworthy concerto performances... Read »

Bach Festival Coming in March

Thursday, February 21, 2013
by ChasToday
Bach Festival Coming in March

THIS PROMISES TO BE a Baroque banquet that you don’t want to miss. On March 1–3, First (Scots) Presbyterian Church will sponsor the third Bach Festival of Charleston. Festival Director Dr. JeeYoon Choi and Choirmaster Ricard Bordas have scheduled an impressive list of Baroque specialists and local artists to perform over the three-day festival.... Read »

Fiery Pianist Ciro Foderé Will Visit Sottile

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
by ChasToday
Fiery Pianist Ciro Foderé Will Visit Sottile

THE INTERNATIONAL PIANO SERIES at the College of Charleston is heating up again. Ciro Foderé’s latest performances have been described as “masterful, electric, fiery and lyrical” and “edge-of-the-seat thrilling.” As a First Prize winner of the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofieff International Competition, he has performed Saint-Saens, Liszt, and Gershwin Concertos with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Rachmaninoff Third... Read »

This Piano Duo is Making Their Mark

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
by Peter Ingle
This Piano Duo is Making Their Mark

THE TAN AND SEE PIANO DUO gave another spirited performance at the Simons Center on Monday night, this time in traditional native outfits. The occasion was the 101st birthday of College of Charleston music sponsor, John Zeigler. The celebratory house was packed and the program was plentiful. What a pleasure it is to watch... Read »

A Symphonic Circus at the Sottile

Sunday, January 27, 2013
by Peter Ingle
A Symphonic Circus at the Sottile

THE SOTTILE THEATER saw a different CSO crowd this past weekend. After all, people came to see the circus as much, if not more than, the symphony—and they got a delightful dose of both. Cirque de la Symphonie was co-founded in 2006 by Bill Allen and Russian native Alexander (Sasha) Streltsov, who is also... Read »

Steven Lin Fascinates in IPS Recital

Thursday, January 17, 2013
by Lindsay Koob
Steven Lin Fascinates in IPS Recital

STEVEN LIN’S TUESDAY EVENING International Piano Series recital at the Sottile Theatre brought many delights (and several surprises) to his substantial and appreciative audience. Lin, a rising young Taiwanese-American virtuoso, is now pursuing postgraduate studies at the prestigious Juilliard School; he has garnered top prizes at several important competitions, and will soon appear in... Read »

CSO Triumphant in Russian Masterworks Program

Monday, January 14, 2013
by Lindsay Koob
CSO Triumphant in Russian Masterworks Program

DISTINGUISHED GUEST CONDUCTOR JoAnn Falletta and young piano wonder Micah McLaurin conspired with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) to conjure rare musical magic in Saturday evening’s repeat program of universally cherished masterpieces by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff at the sold-out Sottile Theatre. In two significant respects, the evening was also a memorable... Read »

Steven Lin is Coming to the Sottile

Thursday, January 10, 2013
by ChasToday
Steven Lin is Coming to the Sottile

PIANIST STEVEN LIN soloed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at 14. Since then, he has performed at Dublin National Hall, the Seoul Arts Center, Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Salle Cortot and the Louvre Auditorium in Paris. He has also been a soloist with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the... Read »

Welcome Back, Lee-Chin

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Welcome Back, Lee-Chin

IT WAS AN EVENING of exquisite music by Charleston Music Fest—but this concert was about much more than music. It was a resurgence. On Saturday night, violinist Lee-Chin Siow returned to the Simons Center recital stage for the first time since a car accident last year damaged her left arm, resulting in surgery and... Read »

Prats Delivers Stunning Recital at Sottile

Monday, November 26, 2012
by Lindsay Koob
Prats Delivers Stunning Recital at Sottile

ONE MUSIC WRITER recently called Cuban keyboard master Jorge Luis Prats “…the greatest pianist you’ve never heard of.” This characterization may well be a valid attention-getter for most of today’s piano fans worldwide, but (trust me) the “never heard of” part of it won’t hold true for long. And he is certainly no stranger to... Read »

Greenberg and Bekker Highlight Chamber Group

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
by William Furtwangler
Greenberg and Bekker Highlight Chamber Group

THE CHARLESTON CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, consisting of Charleston Symphony Orchestra members, performed with great passion and intensity to sold out houses on Friday, November 9, and Saturday, November 10. The much anticipated program consisted of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, followed by Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. The Italian Vivaldi’s collection of... Read »

Jorge Luis Prats “Returns” to Sottile

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
by ChasToday
Jorge Luis Prats “Returns” to Sottile

THE WESTERN CAREER of pianist Jorge Luis Prats was “reborn” after more than 30 years, and the College of Charleston International Piano Series is one of the prime beneficiaries. When he was 21, Prats won the Grand Prix at the “Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud” International Competition, began performing widely, and recorded for Deutsche Gramaphon. The doors... Read »

Warsaw Philharmonic Wows at Sottile

Monday, November 5, 2012
by William Furtwangler
Warsaw Philharmonic Wows at Sottile

IT WAS A GRAND CONCERT. The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, under the auspices of the Charleston Concert Association, presented a bang-up program of classics in the College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre Saturday night. Under the deft baton of the orchestra’s managing and artistic director, Antoni Wit, the orchestra presented music by Lutoslawski, Chopin and Dvorak... Read »

Schimpf Impresses in IPS Opener

Friday, November 2, 2012
by Lindsay Koob
Schimpf Impresses in IPS Opener

DISTINGUISHED GERMAN PIANIST Alexander Schimpf delivered a varied and worthwhile recital Tuesday evening at the Sottile Theater. As winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and other prestigious contests, he enjoys a thriving concert career; Tuesday’s appearance was one of more than 50 on his current tour of the United States. He opened his... Read »

Award-Winning Schimpf to Open Piano Series

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
by ChasToday
Award-Winning Schimpf to Open Piano Series

GERMAN-BORN ALEXANDER SCHIMPF is becoming one of the best known pianists of his generation. Awarded the Audience Prize by those in attendance at the final round of the Cleveland Competition, Mr. Schimpf has performed with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has also played recitals at Carnegie Hall, Beethovenhaus in Bonn,... Read »

Masterworks Lead with Holst

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
by William Furtwangler
Masterworks Lead with Holst

THE FIRST MASTERWORKS CONCERT by the Charleston Symphony for this 2012-2013 season featured a sure fire blockbuster in Gustav Holst’s seven-movement suite for orchestra The Planets. The orchestra, which we weren’t sure was going to be around just a year or so ago, has emerged as a top-flight ensemble featuring guest conductors. Conductor Michael... Read »

Harpsichord Highlights

Thursday, September 6, 2012
by Lindsay Koob
Harpsichord Highlights

I WAS IMMENSELY pleased to attend the College of Charleston’s most recent Monday Evening Concert Series event at the Simons Center Recital Hall, featuring a pleasant hour of harpsichord music winningly performed by Adam Jaffe. A former piano student of CofC Artist-in-Residence, Enrique Graf, at Carnegie Mellon University (where Graf also teaches), Mr. Jaffe currently... Read »

Impressive Pianists Conclude Young Artists Series

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Impressive Pianists Conclude Young Artists Series

CHOPIN’s MUSIC, especially his piano music, has a signature quality that is hard to describe, but you know it as ‘Chopin’ (1810-1849) when you hear it. Which, of course, poses a challenge for pianists. Do they make it ‘the same’ or do they try to make it ‘their own’ and run the risk of... Read »

support CharlestonToday

ORDER Now in Paperback
Books by Peter Ingle

It is with life as it is with art: the deeper one penetrates, the broader the view.                   
~ Johann Goethe