The Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, with Donald Portnoy conducting, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birthday of Mahler with a concert featuring works by Mahler, Debussy, Puccini, Busoni, Schoenberg, and Capellini. Soloists include Jill Terhaar Lewis and Jennifer Luiken. Part of Piccolo Spoleto Festival's Spotlight Concert Series.
Twelve attractive and varied concerts — most of them surprisingly inexpensive — are scattered throughout the entire festival, featuring a winning mix of top local talent and distinguished visiting artists giving you their best. While there are several other exciting series devoted to organ, choral, and early music (among other categories), Spoleto USA's "little sister" festival generally puts its best foot forward in the Spotlight events.
Whatever floats your classical boat
There will be a wide assortment of quality chamber music events in the series, plus a passionate program of semi-staged opera excerpts, a promising classical guitar/bass event, and a powerful drama built around the music of Beethoven. Then there's an exciting evening of piano masterpieces by Chopin, a moving play based on the chamber music of African-American composer William Grant Still, a sweet session of American clarinet music, a spiffy array of music for wind quintet, and a pair of appealing orchestral programs.
Alas, there's not enough room here to list them all or provide complete date/time/venue information, so check the Piccolo website or brochure (don't forget City Paper's user-friendly schedule) for full details. Fans of great music (especially if you're on a tight budget) will find potent proof in this series as to why Piccolo Spoleto comes very close to matching the "big festival" in terms of overall quality and appeal.