Concert of Schoenberg’s Halloweenish Melodrama “Pierrot Lunaire”

The College of Charleston’s Department of Music will host a performance of the contemporary classical composition “Pierrot Lunaire” by Arnold Schoenberg. The event will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip St. Admission is $10 at the door and free for College of Charleston students. With Schoenberg’s eerie, angst-filled music, major themes including blood, blasphemy, love, religion, and insanity, along with an exhibit of related artwork, this is the perfect concert for the week of Halloween!

Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, Professor of Music Theory/Composition at the College of Charleston, is excited to bring this production to Charleston to further expose audiences to 20th century composers. Arnold Schoenberg’s colorful, controversial melodrama “Moonstruck Pierrot” is one of contemporary music’s most influential masterpieces. Igor Stravinsky called it “the solar plexus as well as the mind of early 20th century music.” This special Southern Exposure/Chamber Innovista concert, featuring members of the University of South Carolina’s (USC) world-class music faculty and conducted by the S.C. Philharmonic’s Morihiko Nakahara, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the work’s premiere, in October of 1912. The performance will star Metropolitan opera mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins, delivering what Schoenberg called Sprechstimme, a hybrid of speech and song. USC music theory professor Daniel Jenkins, a Schoenberg scholar, starts the show with an engaging multi-media presentation about Pierrot and its fascinating history.

In an ongoing collaboration between Southern Exposure and Pocket Productions, “Artist Exposure,” Columbia artist Lyon Hill, a noted illustrator, puppet designer, and animator, has created a painting for the occasion, and will display a collection of never-before-seen illustrations.

Performers include: Janet Hopkins, Sprechstimme; Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute and piccolo; Joseph Eller, clarinet and bass clarinet; William Terwilliger, violin and viola; Robert Jesselson, cello; and Joseph Rackers, piano.

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