South Carolina Philharmonic


September 16, 2013

World premiere jump-starts 50th season

A renowned Columbia favorite returns to world premiere a concerto with its equally notable composer in attendance at the South Carolina Philharmonic’s Opening Night, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center.

Music Director Morihiko Nakahara begins the SCP’s 50th season with the world premiere of a work it commissioned to celebrate the landmark. Nakahara and guest soloist Peter Kolkay (top) are noted in their support of new music, and the two approached multiple Grammy Award-winning composer Joan Tower about a piece for the oft-overlooked bassoon. 

Tower (bottom) composed with friend Kolkay in mind, and will be in attendance as he and the SCP, a regional leader in its 
support for 20 and 21st-century music, premiere her latest creation. Red Maple is a 17-minute work for bassoon and strings that allows the instrument to come forward unimpeded, revealing the rich color spread throughout its different registers. Nakahara uses the Masterworks concert to match the concerto’s variance in color with the variance in emotion that characterizes Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Selections from Verdi’s Aida round out the program.

Opening Night is sponsored in memory of Raymond T. "Tom" Lange.

Nakahara presents the popular pre-concert lecture series Classical Conversations at 6:30 p.m. in the Koger Center auditorium, offering unique insight into the evening’s program free to all ticket-holders.

Tickets are $47, $39, $29, $21 and $17. They are available online 24-hours a day at, or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by phone at 803.251.2222 or at the new Koger Center Box Office at Park and Greene streets. New in 2013/2014, children 17 and under are free to this standard Masterworks concert, with a paying adult. College student and military discounts are available. Self-parking is $5 and Southern Valet provides valet parking for $10.

Formerly principal bassoon at the SCP and on faculty at the USC School of Music, Peter Kolkay won over audiences during his stay in Columbia. Frequently in the spotlight of NPR’s “Performance Today” and now on the faculty at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, he is the first bassoonist to win first prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition (2002), the first bassoonist to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant (2004), and the first on his instrument to become a member of Chamber Music Society Two (2006-2009). His appearance with the SCP is sponsored by Angela & Andrew Schweiger.

Joan Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than fifty years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the U.S. as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including those of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony recorded her Made in America in 2008, and the album collected three Grammy Awards: Best Classical Contemporary Composition, Best Classical Album, and Best Orchestral Performance. In 1990 she became the first woman to win the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Silver Ladders. She is in residence as the Albany Symphony’s Mentor Composer partner in the 2013/2014 season.

Returning for its fourth season, the SCP’s “Music for a Cause” initiative allows the SCP to help a diverse group of seven fellow non-profit organizations raise money and awareness for their causes. The partner for the Oct. 4th concert is the American Red Cross – Central S.C. Chapter.


The Central S.C. Chapter serves Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, and Saluda counties and is part of the Palmetto S.C. Region of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross works tirelessly to help those who need assistance, whether down the street, across the country or around the world. We are there to save the day when disaster strikes or when a neighbor’s house burns down. We are there when someone needs life-saving blood, or the comfort of a helping hand. We are there to connect military families with their loved ones in service, provide training in CPR, aquatics safety and first aid and spread humanitarian aid to people around the world.

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