World renowned artists join USCB's 2012-2013 Chamber Music Season

    The University of South Carolina Beaufort Festival Series will open its 34th season on November 4. The season will include five early Sunday evening concerts from November through April at the USCB Performing Arts Center. Artistic Director and cellist Edward Arron will welcome new and returning talents for musical programs that will ensure the Series’ continued reputation as one of the most distinguished musical offerings in the Savannah—Hilton Head—Beaufort and Charleston area.

    This season offers great variety of composers, including exquisitely crafted classical period masterworks by Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn. Moving and colorful pieces by Tchaikovsky, Paganini, Stravinsky will energize audiences. And more contemporary composers such as Schnittke, Arvo Part, Bunch, Bolcom, and Chen Yi will introduce new compositions to the Series’ history and to many in the audience.

    Performing these masterpieces will be internationally acclaimed artists who come to the Performing Arts Center from major concert halls around the world, some returning and some debuting. Great favorites with the lowcountry audience, violinists Jesse Mills and Jennifer Frautschi, violist Aaron Boyd and pianists Jeremy Denk and Jeewon Park will be returning. The only wind player to win the Grand Prize at the WAMSO Young Artist Competition, flutist Conor Nelson will make his Beaufort debut in the opening concert on November 4. Pianist Phillip Bush, who joined the University of South Carolina School of Music faculty this fall, will debut at the December program. Another highlight of this year’s performances will be the opportunity to hear string instruments made by some of the world’s finest craftsmen: a Pietro Antonio della Costa viola made in 1750, a Carlo Antonio Testore viola made in 1756, the “ex Alard Matteo Goffriller violin made in 1700, and the “ex-Cadiz” Antonio Stradivarius violin made in 1722.

    The USCB Performing Arts Center on Carteret Street is remarkable for its superb acoustics and Steinway concert grand piano. Concert dates are Sundays November 4th, December 9th, February 10th, March 17th and April 28; all concerts are at five o’clock. Complete program information is available at www.uscb.e/festivalseries. Subscriptions and individual tickets can be ordered through Staci Breton at843-208-8246/sjbreton@uscb.edu.

    About the Festival Series:From its founding in 1979 by USCB Professor Mary Whisonant, the Festival Series has presented internationally renowned artists such as pianists Jean Yves Thibaudet and Richard Goode, violinists Bobby McDuffie and Joshua Bell, flautist Paula Robison, cellist Carter Brey and the Emerson, Tokyo and St. Lawrence String Quartets. For several of the early years, performances were held at area banks and churches. In 1983 with the growth of membership and the opening of the USCB Center for the Arts, the venue was moved to the Center. After Professor Whisonant’s retirement, Beaufortonian Harriet Keyserling prevailed upon Mr. Wadsworth to assume directorship and bring to Beaufort the chamber music riches he had unearthed for New York’s Lincoln Center and Charleston’s Spoleto. The quality of the music and the talents of the artists have surprised and delighted audiences throughout the Whisonant and Wadsworth tenures and have continued to do so under the leadership of Edward Arron, the 2012-2013 Series Artistic Director and Host.

    Except for the pleasure it gives, the USC Beaufort Chamber Music Series is not a profit-making venture. Ticket-sales cover only part of the expenses. Through the years it has depended upon the kindness and generosity of its friends: the University, local corporate advertisers, and individual donors, who become Friends of the Festival with their donations. This year the Friends of the Festival will be holding three receptions with the visiting musicians for Friends at various levels of giving. On the eve of the March concert, Friends at Spring Island will host dinner and a musical evening at the home of Mrs. Charles Symington. Guests for this very special evening will include all Friends at the Patron level or higher. Guest musicians will perform several chamber pieces in this intimate setting as they were originally intended to be played. For information about the Friends and receptions, please call Lila Meeks at 843-522-0779.