USC’s Southern Exposure Music Series announces 2014-15 season


The award-winning series of

free, innovative concerts

opens on Sept. 26


The University of South Carolina’s Southern Exposure Music Series season is a star-studded year filled with the superb artistic quality and innovative programming that Columbia has come to expect from the Southeast’s most adventurous music series. The award-winning series, in its 13th year, continues to offer concerts for free.


This year is a typically diverse season, featuring a hip, hot string quartet (Brooklyn Rider, Sept. 26), a world music giant (the return to Columbia of sitar great Kartik Seshadri, Nov. 14), a classical music legend (soprano Lucy Shelton, with the esteemed Dolce Suono Ensemble, Feb. 25), and ending with the series’ first-ever foray into USC’s brand new music space, the W.W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall in the Darla Moore School of Business (1014 Greene St) – a rare performance of Louis Andriessen’s gigantic masterpiece De Staat (March 20), featuring USC students and faculty and conducted by Scott Weiss, director of bands.


These popular free concerts fill to capacity, but patrons can reserve a seat and support the series for the entire season for $100.

Southern Exposure New Music Series, 2014-15 Season


Brooklyn Rider Fri., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.

USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly St)

The Brooklyn-based string quartet has been called “one of the wonders of classical music,” by the LA Times.  They tour and record regularly with the likes of Bela Fleck and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and in recent years have performed in one of the more diverse lineups of venues imaginable, including the Ojai Music Festival, the Cologne Philharmonie, the U.S. Open Tennis tournament, Lincoln Center, and Austin’s South by Southwest, where the quartet was the only classical group with an official invitation to play. Their Southern Exposure program will include Philip Glass’s second string quartet, as well works from their latest recording project, the ambitious, cross-disciplinary Brooklyn Rider Almanac (Mercury Classics).


Music from India: Kartik Seshadri, sitar and Abhijit Banerjee, table Fri., Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m. USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly St)

If one can say that any of Southern Exposure’s past concerts deserves the epithet “legendary,” sitar virtuoso Kartik Seshadri’s Southern Exposure performance nearly 10 years ago would surely be among the first mentioned, remembered by those in attendance as a magical, emotionally-charged, unforgettable evening. He is joined by another major figure in Indian classical music, the tabla player Abhijit Banerjee.


Dolce Suono Ensemble and Soprano Lucy Shelton Wed., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.

USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly St)

Acclaimed singer Lucy Shelton, perhaps contemporary classical’s leading soprano, a “new music diva” with “musicianship, technique and intelligence that are unfailing,” (Boston Globe), Shelton has premiered more than 100 major works by composers that comprise a who’s who of 20th- and 21st-century music, including Elliott Carter, Oliver Knussen, Joseph Schwantner, Charles Wuorinen, Gerard Grisey, David Del Tredici and Ned Rorem. An evening with Philadelphia-based stars Dolce Suono, with a core group of artists from world-renowned Philly institutions like the Curtis Institute of Music and Philadelphia Orchestra, led by flutist Mimi Stillman, is certain to be equally astounding. This concert is comprised of two works that set ancient Chinese poetry, by Pulitzer-prize winner Shulamit Ran and USC’s own Fang Man, and will be preceded by a 6:30 p.m. presentation by Joseph Lam, chair of the Department of Musicology at the University of Michigan.


Music and Society:  Hartke’s “Sons of Noah” and Andriessen’s ”De Staat”

Fri., March 20, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

W.W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall

(Moore School of Business 1014 Greene St.)

Performed by a bevy of USC’s world-class faculty and superb students, these major works take on extra-musical topics relating music and society/politics – and, quite apart from any lessons that might be imparted, are masterful, mesmerizing pieces of music. Stephen Hartke’s “Sons of Noah,” featuring USC soprano Tina Stallard and three highly unusual quartets of instruments – classical guitars, flutes and bassoons – sets a short story written during the Crimean War, the first modern conflict between the Islamic world and Europe: a satirical imagining of three “missing chapters of the Bible.” Hartke’s music has echoes of old and new styles, from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to Igor Stravinsky, and strikes a powerful emotional chord. Dutch post-minimalist icon Louis Andriessen’s De Staat (which, while composed in an entirely different style than Sons of Noah, also owes something to the rhythmic legacy of Stravinsky) sets texts from Plato’s Republic. The big, robust work with a large number of singers, brass, woodwinds, strings, pianos and electric guitars onto the stage will blow the roof off of the new hall!