What is it? Twice-daily concerts devoted to the intimate art of chamber music, brought down from its ivory tower by the irreverent wit and laid-back commentary of series host Charles Wadsworth.
Why see it? Wadsworth combs the known universe for chamber masterpieces old and new — and also assembles a glittering team of global A-list musicians to perform them. Eleven different programs, each given three times, are spread out over the festival's 17 days. Festival newcomers are always puzzled to find they can't pick their programs, as none of the featured works are published in advance. So you've got to go on potluck faith, trusting that Dr. Wadsworth's selections will be worth hearing.
Who should go? Many come to Spoleto just for this series. Charleston's resident legion of chamber nuts (all Spoleto's fault) show up in droves — but it's just the ticket for you fledgling classical fans, too.
SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA • $25-$35 • 1 hour 10 min. • May 23 at 1 p.m.; May 24-June 8 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. • Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St. • (843) 579-3100