Pianist Stephen Beus to Perform

The International Piano Series at the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present a performance by celebrated pianist Stephen Beus on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

Within a span of four months, Beus won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, first place in the Vendome Prize International Competition (Lisbon) and received the Max I. Allen Fellowship of the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis).

Born and raised on a farm in eastern Washington, Beus began lessons at age five and made his orchestral debut four years later. He went on to win numerous national and international competitions throughout his youth, capturing the attention of both audiences and critics. Commenting on Beus’ competition success, Fanfare magazine writes: “In some ways Beus doesn’t fit the mold of the typical competition winner. His playing is strikingly original and, despite his youth, he has an interpretive voice all his own… Above all, his playing is so natural as to seem effortless and the sound he produces has extraordinary richness and depth, not quite like anyone else’s.” [Learn more about Beus.]

Watch videos of Beus in performance.

DETAILS:  The concert is generously sponsored by the Remington Master Artist Series and will take place on Tuesday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m., in the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. General admission is $20 and free for students. Tickets may be purchased online, at the door, or by calling (843) 953-6575. 

The program is scheduled to include Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903 by J.S. Bach; Les cloches de Geneve from Annees de Pelerinage Bk. 1 by Franz Liszt; Variations on a Theme of Bach “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen” by Liszt; Fur Alina by Arvo Pärt; Grand Etude No. 7 “The Flight Over the Ocean” by Ronn Yedidia; Prelude in G Major, Op. 32 No. 5 by Sergei Rachmaninov; and Sonata tragica, Op. 39 No. 5 by Nikolai Medtner.

Beus also will offer a master class, free and open to the public, on Wednesday, February 4, at 10 a.m., at the Recital Hall in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. 

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CofC Theatre to Stage Eccentric Comedy

The Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present Noel Coward’s bizarre comic play, Blithe Spirit.

The story centers on socialite and novelist, Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric clairvoyant and medium, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance. Condomine hopes the séance will help him gather new material for his next book, however the idea backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira. Elvira vies with the novelist’s second wife, Ruth, for attention and tries to disrupt their marriage. Blithe Spirit combines sparkling dialogue, an out-of-this-world medium, and the oddest of love triangles in a witty, slightly deranged romp.

The play was first seen in London’s West End in 1941, creating a new long-run record for non-musical British plays of 1,997 performances. It also did well on Broadway later that year, running for 657 performances. Coward adapted the play into a movie production in 1945, starring Rex Harrison, and directed a musical adaptation, “High Spirits,” on Broadway in 1964. It was also adapted for television in the 1950s and 1960s and for radio. And now, College of Charleston theatre professor Evan Parry is directing theatre students in his own rendition of this classic comedy.

Parry describes the play as “incredibly funny, frothy yet intelligent, with jokes to please the most varied audience: silly sight gags, acerbic commentary on marriage and gender roles, and brilliant wordplay.”

College of Charleston Theatre and Dance students comprise the cast: Peter Braxton Spearman as Charles, Ashley Gennarelli as Ruth, Caroline Connell as Elvira, Jessi Vickers as Madame Arcati, Cameron Tubbs and Leah Anderson as Dr. and Mrs. Bradman, and Julia Marks as Edith.

The design and production staff for “Blithe Spirit” includes students William Klein (Scenic Designer), Tessa Silvernale (Costume Designer), as well as Corazon Stegelin (Stage Manager).

DETAILS:  The production will take place from Thursday, February 12 through Tuesday, February 17 at the Emmett Robinson Theatre, housed within the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m, except the show on Sunday, February 15, which will take place at 3:00 p.m. only. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for College of Charleston students, faculty/staff, and senior citizens.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (843) 953-5604 or online. Half-season subscriptions are available.

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CofC Opera Presents Double Bill of One Acts

CofC OperaDavid Templeton, Associate Professor of Voice/Opera, directs two one-act operas featuring talented voice majors from the College’s Department of Music. He describes the event as “a very powerful production ranging from the uproarious comedy of ‘The Old Maid and the Thief’ to the gripping sorrow of ‘Suor Angelica.’”

Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Old Maid and the Thief” is a twisted tale of morals and evil womanly power. A handsome beggar takes up lodging in the home of a middle-aged spinster and her young servant. Infatuation overcomes the women, which begins a series of questionable decisions. Commissioned by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the opera was among the first written specifically for the radio and premiered in 1939.

Giacomo Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” translated as “Sister Angelica,” is a one-act opera that is part of the trio of operas known as trittico or Triptych. The story begins with scenes depicting typical life in the convent, yet takes a quick shift after the nuns begin to discuss their greatest desires.

The production will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 30 and at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 1 at the Recital Hall in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip St. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for College of Charleston students. Tickets will be available at the door (cash and checks only). Tickets also can be purchased online. For more information, visit music.cofc.edu/concerts/ensembles.

CofC Concerts

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Arts Abound | Spring 2015 Events Calendar

springartsimageA New Year’s Resolution to try something new? Or to add more personal time to your busy schedule?

With events ranging from fully-staged, professional theatre productions to scholarly lectures on historic preservation, the School of the Arts offers numerous public arts experiences for well-seasoned patrons and curious novices alike. Throughout the academic year, the school presents a robust season of CofC Concerts, theatre + dance performances, studio art lectures, art history lectures, arts management sessions on navigating the music industry, plus the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s unique exhibitions, lectures and films.

View our spring arts calendar for a listing of this semester’s arts opportunities. Additional events are added as the semester progresses, so be social with the School of the Arts for the latest news.

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Revel in Renaissance Music and Feast with the Madrigal Singers

Madrigal SingersThe Department of Music in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present the 2014 “A Yuletide Madrigal Feast,” on Thursday, Dec. 4, Friday, Dec. 5, and Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m., in the Alumni Memorial Hall of Randolph Hall on the College of Charleston campus, 66 George St.

The award-winning College of Charleston Madrigal Singers, conducted by Dr. Robert Taylor, will perform sacred and secular traditional holiday season carols, such as “Coventry Carol,” “Once in Royal David’s City” and “Carol of the Bells.” Each of the three evenings will be filled with Renaissance entertainment and a feast fit for royalty. The Renaissance menu will include Cornish hen, haricot vert, wild rice, apple caramel tart, coffee and wine. Wassail will also be served.

Watch a video of prior Madrigal Feasts!

Tickets are $70 for preferred seating, $60 for general admission and $40 for College of Charleston faculty and staff, sold in advance until two days prior to each performance. Seating is limited, and tickets will not be sold at the door. Purchase tickets ONLINE or make reservations, (843) 953-8231.

The College of Charleston Madrigal Singers is an auditioned ensemble made up of students from the College’s Concert Choir that specializes in chamber music ranging from the Renaissance to the present. The Madrigal Singers are perhaps best known for their annual Yuletide Madrigal Feast and are also annually featured on the Early Music Series and the Young Artists Series in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. They also frequently have performed and toured with Steve Rosenberg and Charleston Pro Musica, and they function as the community outreach arm of the choral program, performing for various civic functions and charitable organizations.

Robert Taylor, Director of Choral Activities at the College, is also director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Singers, and the professional choir-in-residence at the College of Charleston – the Taylor Festival Choir. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University and is an experienced soloist, having sung leading tenor roles in a variety of operas, oratorios and musicals.

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CofC Orchestra Presents Winter Concert

CofC OrchestraThe College of Charleston Orchestra will perform its annual winter concert on Monday, December 1 at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St., at 7:30 p.m. Yuriy Bekker will conduct the Orchestra, featuring Antonio Marti at the trumpet. The program will include music by Benedetto Marcello, Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Admission is free to all College of Charleston students and $15 for the general public. Tickets are available at the door. For information, contact CofC Concerts at 843.953.6576 or visit music.cofc.edu/concerts.

Housed within the College of Charleston School of the Arts, The College of Charleston Orchestra was established at the request of President Harry Lightsey in 1986. Originally the “College Community Orchestra,” the orchestra has evolved and continues to gain credibility and critical acclaim in the Charleston region. The goal of this program is to consistently produce high quality performances at a professional level. It performs twice a year at the Sottile Theatre.

The orchestra comprises students from the College and community members. It is conducted by Charleston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Yuriy Bekker. Starting in 2010, Bekker has conducted the Orchestra for the last four consecutive seasons, and has played a major role in enhancing its professional quality. Special opportunities that have allowed the orchestra to thrive are masterclasses led by musicians from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as well as world-renowned conductors, including Darko Butorac, JoAnn Falletta, Morihiko Nakahara and Herbert Greenberg.

The orchestra continues to take on new endeavors. Its most recent accomplishment includes a recording with the Southeastern International Film Festival.

The College of Charleston Orchestra provides an opportunity for student musicians to perform high-quality performances for their peers and the Charleston community. Proceeds from ticket sales support existing and future educational opportunities for the College’s orchestra program.

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Romantic-Era Chamber Music to Open Charleston Music Fest

Charleston Music Fest (CMF) at the College of Charleston School of the Arts will open its 2014-15 season with a virtuosic, all-Romantic program featuring violinist Alexandre Brussilovsky of France, cellist Natalia Khoma, and pianist Volodymyr Vynnytsky.

Brussilovsky has performed in the most prestigious concert halls (Carnegie Hall in New York, Salle Pleyel and Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Bolchoi Hall at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, South Bank Centre in London), and has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prix at the International Prague Competition, and the Grand Prix and Albert Roussel Special Prize at the Jacques Thibaud Competition.

Renowned international musicians Khoma and Vynnytsky are faculty members at the College of Charleston, and each holds an impressive list of accomplishments.

For this performance, the trio has prepared music by French composers César Franck and Ernest Chausson. Khoma, the artistic director of the CMF series, states, “The program includes two of the finest, capricious, and tragic pieces of the Romantic music canon. I felt that Alexandre is one of the very few violinists in the world who can bring this music to life.”

Watch a video of Brussilovksy and Vynnytsky performing Shostakovich op. 67.

DETAILS: The concert will take place on Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Recital Hall of the Simons Center of the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. General admission is $25 and $10 for all students. Tickets or season subscriptions are available at the door, by calling (843) 953-6575, and online

CofC Concerts

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Artist Change for Nov. 4 Piano Concert

Due to a death in her immediate family, Beth Levin has canceled her Nov. 4 performance for the International Piano Series at the College of Charleston School of the Arts.

In her place, CofC Concerts will showcase exciting and accomplished pianist, Ji, on Tuesday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. He will perform a program of Bach-Busoni, Schubert, Prokofiev and Ravel. Watch a video of Ji.

JiHailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a gifted young pianist who is clearly going places,” Ji has been lauded from a young age for his compelling musical presence and impressive technical command. This 24-year-old Korean star has earned a stellar collection of awards and prizes, including the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, which led to recital debuts at Merkin Concert Hall and the Kennedy Center on the Young Concert Artists Series, for which he received rave reviews.

Audiences in the Charleston area may appreciate that in 2013 Ji performed a four-hand recital with Lowcountry-favorite Charles Wadsworth in a chamber music program of the “Farewell” Concert of Charles Wadsworth and Friends (Newman, GA). In addition, he has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony and the Nashville Symphony, and he has given recitals at major performance halls and educational institutions.

Through collaborations with pop-stars, ballet dancers and other talented artists, Ji has had a creative vision of making classical music accessible to all people, especially young audiences. In 2010 he worked with renowned Korean pop-artist Tae Jung Kim to design the “Ji-T” piano, bringing classical music to the public on the busy streets of Seoul.

General admission is $20 and free for all students with I.D. Tickets and season subscriptions available online at, at the door, or by calling (843) 953-6575.

CofC Concerts

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Simons Medal to Be Awarded to Richard H. Jenrette and Thomas Gordon Smith

SimonsMedalThe Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present the Albert Simons Medal of Excellence to Richard Hampton Jenrette for outstanding work in historic preservation, and to architect Thomas Gordon Smith for outstanding work in design and education.

Smith will speak about his own design work and also focus on Jenrette’s Millford Plantation house, one of the greatest Greek Revival Houses in the United States.

The event will take place on Thurs., Nov. 6, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., at the Recital Hall in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Admission is free and open to the public.

Richard Hampton Jenrette is a renowned preservationist and co-founder of the Wall Street investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. Author of Adventures with Old Houses and several other books, Jenrette has a love of old houses which inspired him to buy and restore historic homes across the East coast, especially in New York, but also in the Carolinas. In Charleston, S.C., he is the owner of the Roper House, a circa-1838 Greek Revival mansion at Nine East Battery. Preservation and restoration are the two major themes in Jenrette’s career and success.

Thomas Gordon Smith is a leader in contemporary developments of classical architecture. He is author of various architecture books and publications, and teaches as a Professor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. In addition, Smith is head of his own firm, Thomas Gordon Smith Architects. His role in contemporary architecture is reflected in more than 20 museum exhibitions in extensive publications of his buildings, and in scholarly publications of his research.

ABOUT THE SIMONS MEDAL: Albert Simons pioneered the teaching of art at the College in 1924, with a longstanding course in art history. Years later, a general department of fine arts was established and grew to become the School of the Arts, which is on the cusp of its twenty-fifth anniversary and currently offers studies in seven major areas. The Simons Medal honors individuals who have excelled in one or more of the areas in which Simons excelled, including civic design, architectural design, historic preservation and urban planning. Prior Simons Medal recipients include His Royal Highness Prince Charles – The Prince of Wales, Mayor Joseph P. Riley, John D. Milner, Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater–Zyberk, and Allan Greenberg.

Read more about the event and the award recipients in The Post and Courier

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International Award-winning Guitarist Anton Baranov to Perform

The 2nd Monday Series at the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present classical guitarist Anton Baranov on November 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Recital Hall of the Simons Center of the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. For this performance, he has prepared a virtuosic collection of music by Luigi Legnani, Agustín Barrios and others.

General admission is $15 and $10 for all students with school I.D. Buy tickets at the door, or reserve your tickets by calling (843) 953-6575.

Baranov is the winner of the 2013 Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Competition. With competitor fields representing many countries, top judges, and outstanding prize packages, winning the GFA has become a coveted milestone. Baranov’s visit with the College is part of his 50-city concert tour in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Brazil, which was included in this prestigious award.

Having graduated from the famous St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in 2010, and having won numerous international prizes: the Koblenz Guitar Competition, Andrés Segovia Competition and Agustín Barrios Competition, Baranov is well known for his daring interpretation and innovative programming.

Read more about Baranov and the GFA award and tour.

Watch a video of his impeccable technique.

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