Sonatas and Soundscapes

News & Music Stations: Mon - Thu, 11 am - 1 pm; Fri, 11 am - 12 pm

   Sonatas and Soundscapes explores the diverse and colorful range of classical (and not-so-classical) music. Every weekday host Bradley Fuller programs instrumental music from history’s repertoire—everything from baroque to experimentalism.

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http://sepf.music.sc.edu/

Entering its sixteenth year, the Southeastern Piano Festival will once again bring rising talents and seasoned performers alike to the University of South Carolina School of Music and other venues around the city of Columbia. The festival, which takes place from June 17th-23rd, is comprised of a series of performances, learning opportunities, a community outreach event, piano competition, and winners’ recital.

Pedja Muzijevic.
pedjamuzijevic.com

At home performing the sonatas of both Joseph Haydn and John Cage, Pedja Muzijevic is a versatile musician. Pedja’s skills as a pianist and harpsichordist make him an important part of the Spoleto Festival USA Bank of America Chamber Music Series at Dock Street Theatre, which features works from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century over the course of eleven programs.

This year, Pedja is taking his talents beyond the Dock Street’s stage to the Charleston Gaillard Center, where he’s performing a piano concerto by his favorite composer for the genre: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Reggie Workman at the Charleston Jazz Academy.
Leigh Webber

Working with jazz legends like John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, and numerous others has given double bassist Reggie Workman more than a little perspective on music-making. On Monday, June 4th, the eighty-year-old exponent of hard bop and avant-garde jazz shared some of that perspective with students through a lecture/demonstration at the Charleston Jazz Academy. The academy, located on West Montague Avenue in North Charleston, absorbed the Leonard School of Music in 2017, and is the educational arm of Charleston Jazz.

Peter Moore
Twitter @peter_moore

With string quartets, piano trios, and woodwind quintets often receiving the spotlight, the trombone is seldom a contender for pride of place among instruments featured in chamber music programs. If included at all, it’s often sharing the stage with four other instruments as part of a brass quintet.

But for this year’s Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series, the trombone is representing the brass family all by itself.

Spoleto Festival USA presents the US premiere of Liza Lim's Tree of Codes, based in part on Jonathan Safran Foer's book.
Nina Jua Klein

Among the featured operas of the 2018 Spoleto Festival is Tree of Codes, a 2015 work by Australian composer Liza Lim.  The opera received its US premiere on May 26th at Dock Street Theatre, and is being performed there through June 7th under the direction of Ong Keng Sen. Performing Tree of Codes is the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, conducted by John Kennedy. Singers Elliot Madore and Marisol Montalvo fill the two on-stage roles.

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.

Composer, double-bassist, Doug Balliett
metropolisensemble.org/

From playing double bass, to teaching historic performance at Julliard, to writing poetry and works of music, contemporary American composer Doug Balliett stays busy. As composer-in-residence for the chamber music series of the forty-second Spoleto Festival USA, Doug is not only providing original works, arrangements, and guidance on their interpretation, but is also a performer in a majority of the series’ thirty-three concerts. The series runs through June 10th, with all performances held at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston.

Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company presents Cimarosa's opera at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston, May 28 to May 30. Members of the Westminster Choir will accompany the opera.
Photo courtesy of Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company

With its humorous situations, tangle of love interests, and recognizably-flawed characters, Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) is an emblematic example of eighteenth-century opera buffa. A feel-good production of its day, Il Matrimonio Segreto was the type of work that had those in an audience laughing as much at themselves as the cast members before them. In other words, relatability was one of its hallmarks.

Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music director, Geoff Nuttall.
Spoleto Festival USA

For violinist Geoff Nuttall, finding the right performers for the Bank of America Chamber Music Series is critical. 

"Everybody that comes is not only amazing and an incredible player," Geoff says, "but also super-easy to work with and a joy to hang out with."

For conductor Suzanna Pavlovsky, keeping younger audiences engaged in the world of classical music doesn’t require a complete overhaul so much as a repackaging.

“We don’t need to change the repertoire. We don’t need to change the music itself,” Suzanna says. “But we need to come up with some sort of idea to keep the younger generations more active.”

A.T. Shire, SC Public Radio

When the celebrated maker of string instruments Antonio Stradivari put the finishing touches on the violin now known as the Ex-Nachez, Bach and Handel were barely into their toddler years and the invention of the piano was still more than a decade away. 

The rare violin has passed through the hands of many an owner and virtuoso performer since that time, but, as Yuriy Bekker of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra can attest, the instrument is still in excellent playing condition.

Massive, Seldom-Staged Bernstein Work Comes to SC

Feb 27, 2018

With musical influences as diverse as jazz, Broadway, rock, and the liturgy of the Catholic Church, Leonard Bernstein’s MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers is a work that demands versatility from its scores of performers. The range of music genres in Mass, along with the difficulties of coordinating the variety of performing groups for which it calls, make staging the work a seldom-pursued challenge.

For pianist Paolo Gualdi, variety is an important part of being a well-rounded musician. 

According to the Francis Marion University professor, “It’s a great advantage to be open to many, many different kinds of music. It doesn’t matter what you’re listening to, as long as it’s high-quality, as long as there’s something interesting about it.”

Like father, like son.

SC composer Richard Maltz thrives on linking family relationships to his passion for creating music. His son, the Vienna-based pianist Daniel Adam Maltz, isn’t so different. Daniel will give the premiere performance of his father’s piano concerto on Thursday, February 8th, at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center.  The concerto, along with Richard’s Symphony No. 2, “Fraternal,” is part of a program entitled Mostly Maltz: Classicism Revisited.

Violinist's Personal Journey Shapes Americana Program

Jan 15, 2018
Lauren Desberg

A performer’s musical journey usually includes countless hours in the practice room, time spent poring over scores, and participation in numerous recitals, auditions, and competitions. For musicians like violinist Kristin Lee, that musical journey may also involve a move to another country.  Kristin, who was born in South Korea and began studying violin at the age of five, remained in the United States in order to continue her study of the instrument with a teacher who saw her potential.

Concert venues may be built for the enjoyment of music, but could they also function as spaces where political engagement takes place? Jonathan Neufeld, a violist, music critic, and philosophy professor at the College of Charleston, thinks so. Jonathan's interests include exploring the link between public performances and the political public sphere. He has a book under contract with Oxford University Press entitled Music in Public: How Performance Shapes Democracy.

Music and Architecture in Harmony at Historic SC Home

Oct 24, 2017
Courtesy of Classical American Homes and The Richard Hampton Jenrette Foundation. Photo: John Teague.

With six massive columns, a strikingly symmetrical façade, and a remote location outside of Pinewood, SC, Millford has captured the eye since its completion in 1841. But on Saturday, September 23rd, the Greek Revival house and National Historic Landmark also captured the ear with The Classical Ideal: Music and Architecture in Harmony.

Dr. Scott Weiss was recently appointed interim conductor of the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Scott, who will continue to conduct the university’s Wind Ensemble and teach graduate conducting courses, shares about the ensembles’ upcoming seasons and his outlook on teaching in this interview with SCPR’s Bradley Fuller which aired on Wednesday, August 30th. 

Sonatas and Soundscapes will be featuring performances from the 2017 Bank of America Chamber Music Series performances at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, SC. These broadcasts will continue through Friday, June 16.

Director and violinist Geoff Nuttall (far left) directs and hosts the Bank of America Chamber Music Series at the Dock Street Theatre, featuring the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
William Struhs, 2016

Spoleto Chamber Music Series Director Geoff Nuttall's eclectic approach to programming concerts at the festival has its roots in a record collection he started in his youth. Nuttall says that, while eclecticism is important to him, the quality of a program should never suffer "just for the sake of eclecticism."

Pianist Pedja Muzijevic plays one of the pianos in the Hamburg Steinway & Sons showrooms in Germany. March 8, 2017.
Christina Czybik

In "Haydn Dialogues," pianist Pedja Muzijevic creates a "conversation" among four Haydn sonatas four 20th century works. Muzijevic's recital is part of the Music in Time series at Spoleto Festival USA.

It may go without saying that Ken Lam, music director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, is well-versed in matters relating to the study and performance of some of the world's greatest works of music--several conducting awards and time spent learning from maestros like Leonard Slatkin are proof enough of that. What might be more surprising is that his resume also includes an economics degree from Cambridge and a decade of experience in law.

As Observatory Manager at the South Carolina State Museum, Dr. Matthew Whitehouse is keeping busy with a few preparations for the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21st—he has even written a piece of music inspired by the event. The astronomy educator is also an organist and composer, and doesn’t mind taking an interdisciplinary approach when it comes to celestial phenomena. In fact, merging seemingly separate fields is one of his major interests.

Bela Fleck Talks About the Juno Concerto

Nov 10, 2016
Bela Fleck
Courtesy of the artist

Alfred Turner had a chance to talk with musician and composer Béla Fleck a few days before his visit to Columbia, SC, to perform his new banjo concerto, the Juno Concerto. Beck was scheduled to perform the work on November 13, at the Koger Center, with the South Carolina Philharmonic, under music director Morihiko Nakahara. Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the world’s premier banjo player. 

Carter Callison grew up in the Upstate of South Carolina but recently completed his graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Carter is a double bassist, composer and inventor of Scordatura Pedals for the bass. In this podcast, Carter shares about his varied influences and his inventions.

Yiorgos Vassilandonakis is Associate Professor of music theory and composition at the College of Charleston. He's also one of the co-founders of Magnetic South, a program that presents the music of 20th and 21st-century composers to Charleston audiences. On November 11th Magnetic South will present "The Finnish Line" with works by Salonen, Saariaho, and Lindberg.

In this interview that aired on Thursday, October 20th, SCPR's Kate McKinney shares highlights from a conversation  with Yiorgos about Magnetic South and his own compositions. 

On October 15th, Maestro Sarah Ioannides led the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra in works by Kenneth Fuchs, Copland and Brahms. The SPO celebrates Sarah's 12th and final year with the ensemble with the "One Legacy" season. In this segment, SCPR's Kate McKinney shares highlights from an interview with Sarah which aired on Wednesday, October 12th. 

Dr. Jon Grier teaches music theory and is the Composer-in-Residence at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, South Carolina.  In this segment, Jon joins host Kate McKinney to speak about his role at the FAC and recent projects, including winning the Rapido! competition hosted by the Atlanta Chamber Players. 

Porgy (Lester Lynch) and Bess (Alyson Cambridge).
Julia Lynn Photography

The iconic opera of the Jazz Age, Porgy and Bess, by George and Ira Gershwin with DuBose Heyward, returns to Charleston, its city of origin, in a Spoleto Festival USA production. David Herskovits, whose 1998 production of Mamba’s Daughters by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward won an OBIE award and sold out at Spoleto Festival USA in 1999, returns to direct. Celebrated Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green is Visual Designer, creating the fictional "Catfish Row," based on the actual "Cabbage Row."

Manual Cinema performs AVA/ADA.
Yi Zhao and Howard Ash

  Manual Cinema’s Drew Dir joins SCPRS’s Kate McKinney for a conversation about Ada/Ava, a multimedia work that combines Dir’s shadow puppetry with an original score. Live actors and musicians share the stage with shadow puppets to tell the story of sisters Ada and Ava while exploring the human struggles of loss and self-discovery. Ada/Ava marks performance collective Manual Cinema’s Spoleto Festival USA debut. 

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