Spoleto Festival USA 2017

For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina's historic theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera; theater; dance; and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music. 

Focusing primarily on artists of the Southeast region, Piccolo Spoleto is the perfect complement to the international scope of Spoleto Festival USA. Piccolo's 500 events transform Charleston into an exhilarating celebration of performing, literary and visual arts. 

Ways to Connect

Gilles Vonsattel
gillesvonsattel.com

South Carolina Public Radio’s Bradley Fuller talks with pianist Gilles Vonsattel, who is performing in the Spoleto Chamber Music Series. In recent year Vonsattel has made his Boston Symphony, Tanglewood, and San Francisco Symphony debuts, while performing recitals and chamber music world-wide. He is a newcomer to the Spoleto Festival, and he discusses his upcoming performances of Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach “Das Dreyblatt” for Six Hands (Chamber Music Program X) and Thomas Adès “Catch”(Program XI).

Joshua Roman
Hayley Young

Joshua Roman's versatility and adventurous spirit as both a cellist and a composer have gained international attention. He performs his own composition, Riding Light, at the 2017 Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series. He talks with Bradley Fuller about the piece, about the challenges of playing his own work, and about why he calls himself a "curator."

A still from Mighty Like a Moose, staring Charley Chase.
Spoleto Fesitval USA

Pianist Stephen Prutsman is well known to chamber music audiences at Spoleto Festival USA. This year, in addition to playing at the Bank of American Chamber Music Series, he will also be conducting his original scores—with select members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra—for three silent film shorts from the 1910s and ‘20s.

The Rolston String Quartet: Jonathan Lo, Cello; Hezekiah Leung, Viola; Jeffrey Dyrda, Violin; Luri Lee, Violin.
rolstonstringquartet.com

First Prize winner of the prestigious 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Rolston String Quartet has become Canada's newest ensemble attracting attention on the international stage.  As Germany's Südwest Press stated of their recent performance, "an impressive, deeply serious interpretation...highly sensitive, delicately transparent. A musical sound treasure, blissful."

Cellist Jonathan Lo talks with Bradley Fuller about the quartet's performances at the 2017 Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music series.

Rachel Troublefield
racheltroublefield.com

17 Hours is a new American musical written by and featuring Nashville recording artist, South Carolina native, and College of Charleston Alumna Rachel Troublefield (2010).

Druid's Aaron Monaghan, Garrett Lombard, and Marty Rea in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot; Druid Artistic Director Garry Hynes brings this production to the Dock Street Theatre through June 11, 2017.
Matthew Thompson

Director Garry Hynes and her Irish theater company Druid bring to Spoleto a fresh take on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the quintessential 20th-century play about life’s great questions. Shane Stephens is the Irish Consul General in Atlanta. He tells Jeanette Guinn that he's in Charleston to be a "cheerleader" for Druid's Spoleto Festival USA production. Stephens sees Beckett as "deeply European," but, "inherently an Irish writer--but not what you'd expect..." 

Marcus Amaker
Reese Moore

The 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Festival is presenting the world premiere of a jazz setting of the poetry of Marcus Amaker, the first poet laureate of Charleston. The In-Between, featuring classical soprano Jill Terhaar Lewis, saxophonist Robert Lewis, and pianist Gerald Gregory, explores repertoire that resides in and in between classical and jazz genres. Joined by Amaker, the musicians will perform new versions of Amaker's poems. The performance takes place June 5 at the City Gallery.

Geoff Nuttall, Artistic Director of the Bank of America Chamber Music Series at Spoleto Festival USA.
Julia Lynn Photography

Spoleto Chamber Music Series Director, Geoff Nuttall, also plays in many of the 33 concerts in which he acts as host. Geoff finds it particularly challenging to jump from his role as MC into the chair of first violinist for the St. Lawrence Quartet. Geoff talks with Bradley Fuller about how "old music speaks and benefits from being pushed up against new music, and vice versa."

Festival Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities John Kennedy leads the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.
Julia Lynn, 2015

John Kennedy is a familiar face at Spoleto Festival USA. As Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities, John has a pivotal role some of the festival's biggest performances. He talks with Bradley Fuller about the opera Quartett, Mahler's 4th Symphony, his love of Charleston, and the atmosphere of Spoleto USA.

Jaroslaw "Jarek" Kapuscinski
music.stanford.edu

Jaroslaw "Jarek" Kapuscinski is this year’s composer-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival’s Chamber Music Series. With a strong interest in technology, Jarek takes his work beyond mere notes on a page to create a multimedia experience. He tells Bradley Fuller that a childhood dream of being a sorcerer, a life long devotion to music, and his discovery in his early twenties of computer technology, all combine in his multi-media performances.

Manny Houston
YouTube/Creative Commons

Jeanette Guinn talks with Charleston musician Manny Houston about Take Me to Church​, a Piccolo Spoleto event taking place Wednesday, May 31, 6:00 p.m., at the City Gallery.  The program is billed as "an all ages, cabaret styled, exploration in gospel music and traditional Broadway show tunes."

Na Fidléirí.
Taylor Music Group

The Taylor Music Group will present two concerts as part of the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Festival's Celtic Art Series.  Mary Taylor leads Na Fidléirí ("the fiddlers") in Something Old, Something New! at the Ciruclar Congregational Church, June 5 and June 9. Robert Taylor conducts the Taylor Festival Choir in a program titled Hope and Healing at St. Phillip's Church, June 9 and 10.

Director and violinist Geoff Nuttall (far left) directs and hosts the Bank of America Chamber Music Series at the Dock Street Theatre, featuring the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
William Struhs, 2016

Spoleto Chamber Music Series Director Geoff Nuttall's eclectic approach to programming concerts at the festival has its roots in a record collection he started in his youth. Nuttall says that, while eclecticism is important to him, the quality of a program should never suffer "just for the sake of eclecticism."

Pianist Pedja Muzijevic plays one of the pianos in the Hamburg Steinway & Sons showrooms in Germany. March 8, 2017.
Christina Czybik

In "Haydn Dialogues," pianist Pedja Muzijevic creates a "conversation" among four Haydn sonatas four 20th century works. Muzijevic's recital is part of the Music in Time series at Spoleto Festival USA.

Narrative: A Spoleto Festival After-Party

May 25, 2017
John Hagerty and his friend Susan Ravenel in Charleston, 2012.
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, a unique oral history project that collects the voices of our times. When the StoryCorps mobile booth visited Charleston in 2012, John Hagerty and his friend Susan Ravenel sat down to talk about the Spoleto Festival, and some of the memorable moments from the early years, including a party hosted by John's mother, Mary Hagerty.

Publicity photo of angel wings prop from the play "Angel."
Courtesy of Henry Naylor

2014, Kobanî, Northern Syria: there is a siege as fierce as Stalingrad. ISIL, having steam-rolled through Iraq, expects to take the town easily. The desperate Kobanis have only their determination and aging Russian rifles. Defeat seems inevitable, but a heroine emerges: a crack shot sniper—a member of a band of Kurdish female fighters—with 100 kills to her name. She is the angel of Kobanî. Inspired by a true story, Henry Naylor’s one-woman monologue won prestigious awards at the Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, as well as critical praise.

2017 Piccolo Spoleto poster
Courtesy of City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs

  Piccolo Spoleto prioritizes accessibility for both artists and performers, presenting professionalwork of the highest standard, while ensuring that nearly half of Piccolo’s events are admission free,

and the balance are offered at affordable ticket prices.Scott Watson, Director of the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, talks with Jeanette Guinn about the offerings of the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Festival.