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School of Music


USC Symphony Orchestra

USC Symphony Orchestra 2014-2015 Season

All concerts are at the Koger Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Donald Portnoy, conductor, Neil Casey, assistant conductor.

Zuill BaileyThurs., September 18, 2014

Russian Extravaganza!

Guest artist Zuill Bailey, cello

Zuill Bailey, among the most sought after cellists today, has been praised for his "virtuoso technique, strong, richly expressive tone and bold, individual manner of playing" (Gramophone Magazine).
"Extraordinary skill...peerless technique and great passion."  The Sentinel
"An incredible cellist." Audiophile Audition

Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 2 in C minor, op. 17 (Little Russian)
Prokofiev - Sinfonia Concertante, op. 125 - Zuill Bailey, cello

Zuill Bailey, among the most sought after cellists today, has been praised for his peerless technique and great passion. Bailey will play Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra on the season opening Russian Extravaganza! concert. The three movements are all expansive, with a wide variety of themes and speeds that demand a cellist of exceptional technique and musicality. The USC Symphony Orchestra will also play one of Tchaikovsky's most joyful compositions, Symphony No. 2, on the season's opening concert.



Leonard Bernstein George Gershwin Duke Ellington

Tues., October 21, 2014

Americana: The Music of Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington

As American as apple pie, Maestro Portnoy and the USC Symphony offer a delightful slice of Americana classics.
Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Gershwin - Cuban Overture
Ellington - Medley for Orchestra including "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Do Nothin' 'Til You Hear From Me,"  "Sophisticated Lady," and "It Don't Mean A Thing , If It Ain't Got That Swing."
Ellington - Harlem



Adam GolkaTues., November 18, 2014

Rock with Rachmaninoff

Adam Golka, piano

Adam Golka is the winner of the 2008 Gilmore Young Artist Award and first-prize winner of the 2009 Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award of the American Pianists Association.
Golka delivers "a performance...to draw you into a world of intimate beauties."  Dallas Morning News
"A wealth of color and dynamic range, integrating the solo role with organic sensitivity." The Scotsman

Beethoven - Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major, op. 60
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, op. 30 - Adam Golka, piano

Guest artist Adam Golka, is sure to deliver a stunning performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire. Golka is the winner of the 2008 Gilmore Young Artist Award and first-prize winner of the 2009 Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award of the American Pianists Association. The Scotsman describes Golka as having "a wealth of color and dynamic range, integrating the solo role with organic sensitivity." The orchestra will also present Beethoven's cheerful Symphony No. 4.



Charles FugoThurs., January 22, 2015

A Tribute to Sidney Palmer

Charles Fugo, piano
Sandlapper Singers

The new year begins with an evening devoted to the music of American pianist, conductor and composer Sidney Palmer. The concert features a number of his beloved works, including Petite Concerto Classique for piano and orchestra featuring pianist Charles Fugo and choral work Two Psalms and Alleluia with the Sandlapper Singers. Dr. Fugo has played collaborative recitals at New York City's Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, performed throughout the Southeast and has appeared on statewide programs on South Carolina Educational Radio and Television as both soloist and chamber musician. Neil Casey conducts.



Cole Porter Tina Milhorn Stallard Janet Hopkins Walter Cuttino Jacob Will

Tues., February 24, 2015

A Cole Porter Celebration!

Tina Milhorn Stallard, soprano
Janet Hopkins, mezzo-soprano
Walter Cuttino, tenor
Jacob Will, baritone
Dreher High School Chorus

Join us as we celebrate some of Cole Porter's greatest hits including "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top," "All Through the Night," "I Love Paris," "Begin the Beguine," "So in Love," and "Night and Day."



Zeyu Victor LiThurs., March 26, 2015

A Prodigy Returns

Zeyu Victor Li, violin

"Thrilling, bright, incredibly precise, energetic and athletic. Zeyu's technique, precision and musical delivery were astonishing."  Free Times 2013
Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, op. 63 - Zeyu Victor Li, violin
Winners of the 2014-2015 USC Concerto-Aria Competition will also perform on this concert (winners and repertoire TBA).

Zeyu Victor Li, returns to the Koger stage to play Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 at the March concert. Back by popular demand, the 18-year-old Chinese violin virtuoso has been praised for his technical mastery and exuberance. The Concerto No. 2 is more conventional than the composer's early bold compositions and begins with a melody related to traditional Russian folk music. About the work, Prokofiev wrote, "The number of places in which I wrote the Concerto shows the kind of nomadic concert-tour life I led then. The main theme of the 1st movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the 2nd movement at Voronezh, the orchestration was finished in Baku and the premiere was given in Madrid.



Christian SebekTues., April 21, 2015

Berlioz Requiem

Christian Sebek, tenor

Christian Sebek, currently performing on Broadway in Phantom of the Opera, is recognized for his powerful and lyric spinto. The New York Times praised Sebek as "possessing a marvelous voice," and the Houston Chronicle extolled his singing as "full of visceral excitement."  With the USC Concert Choir, University Chorus and the Coker College Singers.


Season subscriptions

General public - $150
Senior citizens, USC faculty and staff - $110
Students - $45

Single tickets

General public $30
Senior citizens, USC faculty and staff - $25
Students - $8

Purchase tickets

  • Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets, Columbia, SC 29201, Mon. – Fri. from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • By phone at (803) 251-2222, Mon. – Fri. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Online at www.capitoltickets.com
  • Koger Center lobby starting one hour prior to the performance

Concerts are held at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia, SC 29201) at 7:30 p.m.

Valet parking (Southern Valet) is a convenient service to our patrons that is available for $5.
For more information, call (803) 777-7500 or email uscorchestra@sc.edu