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Charleston Symphony Announces 2023-2024 Season



Press Release

The Charleston Symphony announces their complete 2023-24 season, featuring eight Masterworks Series and four Pops concerts. The star-studded season features pianist Michelle Cann, violinist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth, cellist Julian Schwarz, violinist Bella Hristova, pianist Maxim Lando, and pianist Paul Sánchez. An accolade of celebrated conductors take the podium for the Masterworks Series, including Yuriy Bekker, Thomas Wilkins, Pinchas Zukerman, Carl St.Clair, Gerard Schwarz, William Eddins, Tito Muñoz, and Lina González-Granados.

Beloved canonical works, celebratory Pops music, and contemporary pieces alike will be performed throughout the 2023-24 season. Repertoire highlights from the Masterworks Series include Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Wynton Marsalis’ Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra, Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, Verdi’s Messa da requiem, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and Michelle Cann performing Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement. The Pops Series returns with four concerts celebrating movie music, the holiday season, the magic of cirque, and the Harlem Renaissance.

Principal Pops Conductor/Artistic Director/Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker says, “The Charleston Symphony is delighted to offer something for everyone in the community this 2023-24 season. It is a joy and an honor to continue my position as Artistic Director and the CSO greatly looks forward to sharing this lively and invigorating season with our audiences. Between treasured movie soundtracks, music celebrating the Harlem Renaissance, and Brahms — there is something for everyone this season.”

Subscriptions start at just $99 and are on sale now. Existing subscribers are encouraged to renew by April 21. CSO subscribers enjoy top benefits such as 15% savings off the cost of regular individual concert tickets, reserving the best seats all season and before everyone else, and exclusive access to special events. Tickets for individual concerts will go on sale in August. Visit to learn more.

Repertoire is subject to change.

Opening Night: Elgar’s “Enigma”
Friday, September 22 & Saturday, September 23, 2023

Thomas Wilkins, Conductor

Michelle Cann, Piano

Maurice Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin 

Florence Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement (orch. Trevor Weston)

Edward Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme (“Enigma”), Op. 36

The CSO will open this season with Maestro Thomas Wilkins at the podium and guest pianist Michelle Cann. The concert will showcase three works that premiered during a transformative period in history – between 1899 and 1934 – that are timeless musical treasures by composers from France, the U.S., and England.


Music of the Movies: Fantasy Films
Thursday, October 12, 2023

Yuriy Bekker, Conductor

Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Dr. Robert Taylor, Director)

Take a trip to Neverland. Make a getaway sailing the oceans with Jack Sparrow. Join the battle of good against evil with Frodo on his quest. All this and more with your Charleston Symphony Orchestra!

Plan an escape from reality to enjoy the first Pops concert of the season with music from these popular fantasy movies: Lord of the RingsHarry PotterAvatarWillowRobin Hood: Prince of ThievesPirates of the CaribbeanHow to Train Your Dragon, and Hook.

An Evening with Zukerman: Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Vivaldi
Friday, October 27 & Saturday, October 28, 2023

Pinchas Zukerman, Violin and Conductor

Amanda Forsyth, Cello

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for Violin and Cello in B-flat major

Max Bruch: Kol Nidrei for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 47

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, “Turkish”

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 

This concert showcases musical masterworks from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic Periods (Vivaldi, Mozart, Bruch, and Tchaikovsky), and features internationally prominent soloists performing alongside the CSO.

Majestic Bruckner: Illuminating Sounds of the Symphony
Friday, November 17 & Saturday, November 18, 2023

Carl St.Clair, Conductor

Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Dr. Robert Taylor, Conductor)

College of Charleston Concert Choir

Morten Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 in E major

This concert program emotionally resonates with the juxtaposition of lightness and darkness and highs and lows, through brilliant music and voices, with works by Anton Bruckner and Morten Lauridsen.


Holiday Pops!
Dec 21-23, 2023

Yuriy Bekker, Conductor

Gracie and Lacy, Vocalists

The Charlestones, Vocalists

Jason McKinney, Baritone

Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Dr. Robert Taylor, Director)

Unwrap the joy with your Charleston Symphony this season and join us for one of Charleston’s favorite winter traditions! We are excited to bring you this annual concert once again – a celebration for audiences of all ages and from all backgrounds.

Enjoy your favorite new holiday tunes, traditional carols, audience sing-alongs, and more. There will be something for everyone – including grand vocal works, fun visits from Santa and the Grinch, beloved pipers, and special guest dancing guests.

Schwarz Conducts Brahms: With Dvořák’s Cello Concerto
Friday, January 12 & Saturday, January 13, 2024

Gerard Schwarz, Conductor

Julian Schwarz, Cello

Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra

Johannes Brahms: Academic Festival Overture 

Antonín Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor

Father and son Gerard and Julian Schwarz return to Charleston following their crowd-pleasing performance with the CSO during the 2022-234 season. In this concert, the CSO will present favorites from Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák – two immensely talented composers who were friends.



Cirque de la Symphonie
Friday, January 19, 2024

Yuriy Bekker, Conductor

Cirque de la Symphonie brings the magic of cirque to the music hall with your Charleston Symphony. Artists include the most amazing experts of exceptional cirque programs throughout the world — aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen. The stunning aerialists, dazzling dancers, and unbelievable feats are superbly choreographed to classical masterpieces and popular music performed live onstage with the orchestra.

The concert will include music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, plus Dvořák’s Carnival Overture and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, and more. Don’t miss this jaw-dropping experience that will mesmerize you with its visual and musical performances!

The Music of Bernstein and Marsalis: Weaving American Stories
Friday, January 26 & Saturday, January 27, 2024

William Eddins, Conductor

Bella Hristova, Violin

Leonard Bernstein: Overture to Candide 

Wynton Marsalis: Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra

Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Music and other art forms are inextricably linked and have been for ages, bridging the gaps of time and uniting people through storytelling. In this concert, the CSO will explore works inspired by the written word and one piece that is rooted back in time yet sounds fresh and colorful. The three American composers – Bernstein, Marsalis, and more – also reveal the melting pot that comprises this nation’s history and its people.

The Planets: With Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto
Friday, March 1 & Saturday, March 2, 2024

Tito Muñoz, Conductor

Maxim Lando, Piano

Women of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Dr. Robert Taylor, Director)

Jessie Montgomery: Starburst

Segei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor 

Gustav Holst: The Planets

The stars align in this program with Holst’s The PlanetsStarburst by Jessie Montgomery, and Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, plus guest conductor Tito Muñoz, pianist Maxim Lando, and the Women of the CSO Chorus.

A recipient of the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award, Maxim Lando is also First Prize winner in both the 2022 New York Franz Liszt International Competition and The Vendome Prize 2021/22. He continues to garner international attention on the largest stages, this past year returning to Carnegie Hall to perform Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 with Orchestra of St. Luke’s led by Gabor Hollerung.

Verdi’s Requiem: Behind the Baton with Bekker

Friday, March 22 & Saturday, March 23, 2024

Yuriy Bekker, Conductor
TBD, Soprano
TBD, Mezzo-Soprano
TBD, Tenor
TBD, Bass
Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Dr. Robert Taylor, Director)
College of Charleston Concert Choir

Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da requiem

The CSO’s own Yuriy Bekker conducts this performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da requiem. Special guest vocalists and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the College of Charleston Concert Choir will join forces to present a powerful and moving Requiem unlike any other.


Harlem Renaissance
Saturday, April 6, 2024

Kellen Gray, Conductor

Discover the history and influence of these titans through an evening with the Charleston Symphony that can only be described as an experience!

CSO Associate Conductor Kellen Gray and members of Project Aurora assemble in a multimedia program of the centenary of the various early-20th century African-American cultural renaissances. We invite you to take in the soulful, syncopated, and mellifluous works written and inspired by great African-American musicians, writers, and painters of the 1920s and 30s.

Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony: With Grieg’s Piano Concerto

Friday, April 19 & Saturday, April 20, 2024

Lina González-Granados, Conductor

Paul Sánchez, Piano

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor

In this Masterworks Series finale, the CSO travels through time and across the globe with music heavily infused with folk dances and sounds masterfully merged with orchestrated composition. Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and an exciting opening piece that we can’t wait to announce soon.

For more information, please visit the CSO’s website.

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