On May 22, some of Charleston’s own classical musicians will become New York City big shots. Chamber Music Charleston, a group of highly talented musicians dedicated to the performance of chamber music, will make their NYC debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.
“About two years ago we were looking towards our future goals, and we decided to look outside of Charleston,” says Sandra Nikolajevs, President and Artistic Director at Chamber Music Charleston. “I tend to think big, and I immediately thought it would be amazing to showcase them at such a renowned stage as Carnegie Hall.”
The group of artists making the trek up north includes Frances Hsieh (violin), Nonoko Okada (violin), Ben Weiss (viola), Timothy O’Malley (cello), Regina Helcher (flute), and Sandra Nikolajevs (bassoon). New York-based pianist Andrew Armstrong, who frequently plays with CMC, will also join them for the show.
CMC has chosen a program that will “show the rich musical history of Charleston,” Nikolajevs says.
They will perform an original set as well, entitled “Charleston Episodes” by Terry Vosbien. “I think the most exciting part of this opportunity is the chance to show the audiences of New York that there is exceptional quality, vibrant classical music being made in Charleston year-round,” Nikolajevs says.
To celebrate their return from the Big Apple, Chamber Music Charleston will perform a Homecoming Concert at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul on May 26 as part of Piccolo Spoleto.
For more information about Chamber Music Charleston, or to purchase tickets to the Homecoming concert, visit chambermusiccharleston.org.
If you buy an advance ticket to a Piccolo Fringe event, you'll receive a free pass to come back to any Theatre 99 improv show between June 14 and Oct. 5. That means if you get three advance tickets to Piccolo Fringe events, you'll get three free passes to Theatre 99. All you have to do when you present your Fringe tickets at the box office is say the secret phrase, “I dig Theatre 99.”
Piccolo Fringe, part of the Piccolo Spoleto festival, highlights improv, sketch, play, and musical comedy talent. Featuring 46 shows in 16 days, the 12th year of Piccolo Fringe starts May 25 and continues through June 9.
The festival features a huge variety of performances, like the musical comedy of the Reformed Whores and the Shock T’s, the play The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), one-man shows like Bursting into Flames, Wanderlust, and Teacher in the House: An Urban Tale of Survival.
And that's not to mention the improv acts like The Have Nots!, The Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company, Two Bartenders Walk Into A Bar, and Mary Kay Has a Posse, the sketch act Small Men, and the live comedy storytelling show and podcast RISK! featuring Kevin Allison.
You can order your Piccolo Fringe tickets by calling the Piccolo Spoleto ticket hotline at 1-866-811-4111, stopping by the Charleston Visitor Center at 375 Meeting St., or at the Piccolo Spoleto website.
The City Gallery's Piccolo Spoleto exhibition, Tales Transposed: a Celebration of Imagination, opens tomorrow, which means you can get in and see it before the Spoleto crowds hit. Swing by the opening reception tomorrow night from 5-7 p.m.
The group show features painter Nathan Durfee, collage artist Lillian Trettin, and sculptor Judy Mooney. Durfee, who is represented by Robert Lange Studios, is known for his fanciful, narrative paintings, while Trettin creates collages and paper figurines based on the Southern Gothic works of Flannery O'Connor. Mooney's work focuses on Gullah vernacular architecture, like praise houses and traditional cabins.
Tales Transposed is a bit of a departure for Durfee. Though his work always contains some kind of implied narrative, with characters who appear over and over, this time he decided to paint one single, fleshed-out story about a lonely dog named Bartholomeux who discovers his love for the piccolo (in honor of Piccolo Spoleto). We got a sneak peek at these new pieces inside his studio. Enjoy!
Singing super-group The Shock T's have performed in Charleston so many times, we forget they actually live in Chicago. They're returning for their third Piccolo Spoleto performance May 31-June 2, and they recently posted a video to encourage local audiences to attend their show. Their goal? Their third "A" review from the City Paper. And if they don't get it, well, you may not want to know the outcome. Let's just hope they get their "A."
Day has been writing about the arts in South Carolina for nearly 25 years. For most of that time he was the lead arts writer at The State newspaper in Columbia where he eventually covered all the arts, writing feature and news stories about the arts as well as criticism and columns. After being laid off from The State (along with many others) in 2009, he started the blog Carolina Culture by Jeffrey Day, which he ran for a year before becoming communications coordinator for the University of South Carolina Arts Institute.
Since 2011, he's been a freelance writer and done media relations work for several Columbia arts groups. He has organized and led discussions on the arts in various settings, curated several installation art exhibitions, written pieces for museum and gallery publications and for various newspapers and magazines. He was a National Arts Journalism Fellow and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in classical music, both at Columbia University in New York. He holds a degree in anthropology and has studied fiction writing, studio art, and art history on undergraduate and graduate levels.
Like our esteemed overview critics before him, Day will be sharing his thoughts throughout the festival on our Buzz blog and in the paper. Stay turned for more from Jeffrey.