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

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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.

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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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Beth Levin to Perform All-Beethoven Piano Concert

CofC Concerts at the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present an “All-Beethoven Concert” performed by Beth Levin for the International Piano Series.

Levin made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a child prodigy, at age 12. She was subsequently taught and guided by legendary pianists such as Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Shure, Dorothy Taubman and Paul Badura-Skoda.

With performances described as having “warmth as well as blinding light” (The Boston Globe), Levin has been a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra. For her Charleston debut, she will perform an all-Beethoven program dedicated to the late sonatas opp. 109, 110, and 111.

The performance will take place on Tuesday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m., at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street.

General admission tickets are $20 per person (free for all students with school I.D.). Purchase tickets and subscriptions here or by calling (843) 953-6575.

Watch a video of Levin’s impeccable technique

Levin also will offer a masterclass, free and open to the public, on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m., at the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St.

The International Piano Series will resume its season on Feb. 3, 2015 with Stephen Beus, and conclude on April 7, 2015 with Anne-Marie McDermott. Click here for more information on the  2014-15 season of the International Piano Series.

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‘Assassins’ – Dark Comical Revue-Style Musical to Be Staged

AssassinsThe Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present five-time Tony Award winner, “Assassins.”

Stephen Sondheim (music/lyrics) and John Weidman (book) examine the motivations of the men and women who have killed – or attempted to kill – U.S. Presidents throughout history. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley and others meet and interact in this darkly humorous revue-style musical. The notorious characters share with the audience their stories, motives and psychological problems through music and various scenes. 

The setting of the play is “a limbo world of their making” according to director Brent Laing, and the play travels through different decades between the 1860s to the 1980s, with the characters observing each other as they attempt to carry out their crimes. 

DETAILS: The production is for mature audiences and will take place Nov. 20-24, 2014 at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m., with two shows on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. A talkback will take place on opening night. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students and employees. Tickets are available online at theatre.cofc.edu or by calling (843) 953-5604.

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‘Out of Control’ Dance Concert

OutOfControlThe Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will showcase “Out of Control,” directed by Gretchen McLaine and choreographed by the College’s dance faculty and guest artist Ashlee Ratigan for the Charleston County School of the Arts. The College’s dance students comprise the cast.

What makes this production “Out of Control”? Just one example includes the interaction of audience members to vote on what music, from opera to rap, will be chosen for one of the pieces. Having no idea of the song choices given to the audience, the dancers will have to quickly adapt their performance to represent the music selected.

The Dance program collaborated with the Department of Computer Science for part of the performance. [Learn about the collaboration and the growing Computing in the Arts program.]

DETAILS:  The event will run from Oct. 23-26, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., except on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. only, in the Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Tickets are $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students & employees and $15 for public admission. Season subscriptions are still available. Purchase tickets online at theatre.cofc.edu, by emailing [email protected] or by calling (843) 953-5604.

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CofC Faculty Jazz Ensemble to Perform

Students, alumni and the public love to see our jazz professors take stage. Toes tapping, heads nodding to the beat – at the end of the concert you’ll leave with melodic arrangements still on your mind.

The 2nd Monday Series at the College of Charleston School of the Arts presents the CofC Faculty Jazz Ensemble on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014:  Robert Lewis (saxophones), David Heywood (flute), Tyler Ross (guitar), Gerald Gregory (piano), Quentin Baxter (drums) and Frank Duvall (bass). The group will perform jazz standards, arrangements and originals.

Directed by Robert Lewis, Jazz Studies in the College’s Department of Music is one of the most prominent music programs in the area and includes instruction by some of the best jazz performers of the South.

DETAILS:  The event will take place on Monday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Admission is $15 general / $10 students. Reserve tickets by calling (843) 953-6575 or purchase tickets at the door. More information is available online. This concert is a popular event among the Charleston musical community; early arrival is advised, as seating is first-come, first-served.

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CofC Theatre Stages Award Winning ‘Bread & Circuses’ by Recent Alumnus

The Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present “Bread and Circuses” by young alumnus Edward Precht ’14. The play is not a slice of realism, but rather is a broad comedy that speaks of young love and one man’s hysterical journey to find it. Along the way, he discovers some things about not only the art of theatre, but also about himself.

The production won the David L. Shelton Playwriting Award at the 2014 Region IV Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) and went on to win the NAPAT National KC/ACTF award for playwriting. As the winner of the Shelton award, this production of “Bread and Circuses” has already received an invitation to be presented at the 2015 KC/ACTF Regional Festival in February.

Director and theatre faculty member Todd McNerney states, “Working on the development of a new play is an exciting opportunity for our department and for our students – in this case doubly so since it was written by a student. In my roughly 20 years here, only one other time was a student’s original piece presented as part of our department’s mainstage season.”

He adds, “There are some unique elements within the production, and the structure of the play requires an imaginative approach to the realization of the world – a world that highlights how life is full of possibilities that most of us have yet to discover.”

Edward Precht is a recent graduate of the College’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He is a multiple award-winning playwright and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. This is his first full-length play.

DETAILS: The production will run from Wednesday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 with a second run from Tuesday, Oct. 14 to Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. It will be staged in the Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun St. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m., with the Sunday shows at 3 p.m. only. 

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Season subscriptions are still available. Purchase tickets online or by calling (843) 953-5604.

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