Charleston Symphony begins 80th season

Charleston Symphony begins 80th season
September 17 03:17 2016 Print This Article

An exciting new season for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is getting underway. The first event is Cirque De La Symphonie on September 24. There is a 2:00 p.m. family performance and a 7:30 p.m. performance. Concertmaster and Principal Pops Conductor Yuriy Bekker will treat concert-goers to classical masterpieces choreographed to aerial acrobatics. There will be three other pops performances throughout the year, with a holiday concert in December, a tribute to Frank Sinatra in February, and a celebration of Motown in April.

The Masterworks Series will have eight concerts conducted by Ken Lam, CSO’s Music Director. The first performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth is September 30 – October 1. Other performances include Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, a German Requiem, Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven’s Pastoral, and Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. There will also be three chamber music concerts. These performances will all be held at the new Gaillard Center on Calhoun Street.

The Saltwater Sounds at the South Carolina Aquarium on September 17 is the first of the Family and Community performances. Others include Rush Hour Concert at the Gibbes Museum, Oktoberfest at Palmetto Brewery, and Octoberfest in Summerville. The CSO will also perform at the Second Sunday on King Street and the King Street Farmer’s Market.

The CSO is beginning its 80th season. The orchestra has the challenge of growing and appealing to a new generation. There are several new initiatives to do this. Janice Crews, the Education Director, has greatly expanded the CSO’s partnership with schools. One third of a musician’s time is spent in education. Small group of musicians go into schools giving performances and educating students about music. These visits will expand from 80 schools last year to 130 schools this year. The CSO also partners with the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO). They mentor and perform with the youth. There are two Young People’s Concerts. The concert in March called The Orchestra Sings has students participating in the concert by playing a recorder along with the orchestra. This hugely popular concert has a long waiting list for tickets.

For more information about CSO concerts and education programs go to