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Spoleto Festival USA Announces 2023 Chamber Music Programming



Bank of America Chamber Music 2022
Dock Street Theatre, Charleston, SC

Press Release

Spoleto Festival USA General Director and CEO Mena Mark Hanna today announced the full program for the 2023 Bank of America Chamber Music series at Dock Street Theatre. Tickets are available for purchase, online at or by calling 843.579.3100.

A bedrock of Spoleto since its inaugural season, the Bank of America Chamber Music series exemplifies the creative ethos upon which the Festival was built. Works appearing on the 11 programs reflect vibrant and wide-ranging perspectives, compositional styles, and historical periods—a dynamism represented across the multidisciplinary festival and championed by Geoff Nuttall, Spoleto’s late Director of Chamber Music. Said Nuttall in a 2019 statement: “In combining the old with the new, the standards of the repertoire with rarely heard gems, I want to encourage audience members to open their ears, discover new things from a musical point of view, and think about possibilities for future listening.”

Says Hanna: “The universal success of our chamber music programming was propelled by Geoff’s wild, electrifying curatorial style. This season is a continuation of his legacy that celebrates his dedication to interdisciplinary artistic creation and chamber music’s most promising talent.”

The series in 2023 bears Nuttall’s indelible influence; the programs, curated by several of Nuttall’s closest musical colleagues, are both informed and inspired by his omnivorous musical taste and insatiable curiosity. The 11 programs feature more than 35 pieces from the 1600s to 21st century. “Some of the composers, like Golijov and Haydn, as well as the arrangements of popular songs for chamber ensembles, are echoes of Geoff’s programmatic imprint, while other pieces feature their composers as players, too—a flexibility and virtuosity which Geoff passionately sought,” Hanna continues.

The chamber music series has long featured a wide range of composers on each program, in which both Nuttall and his predecessor, Charles Wadsworth, promoted new compositional voices alongside stalwarts of the classical canon. “This season expands that tent even further,” notes Hanna. “In that 400-year span—say, from Biber and Handel to Judd Greenstein, Gabriella Smith, and Reena Esmail—no composer is represented more than once.”

Works also resonate with programming for the wider Festival. Selections from Samuel Barber’s song cycle, Hermit Songs, on Program XI, complement the Festival’s mainstage opera, Vanessa, for which Barber received the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1958. On Program IX, pianists Inon Barnatan and Pedja Muzijevic perform György Ligeti’s Pieces for Piano Four Hands, a stark contrast to Ligeti’s Poème symphonique for 100 Metronomes featured on the Music in Time concert in honor of the composer’s centennial. And countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who also presents his hybrid theatrical work Only an Octave Apart at the Dock Street Theatre June 7 to 11, reprises the main aria from Vivaldi’s Farnace, which he debuted at Spoleto Festival USA in 2017.

Throughout the series, concerts feature Nuttall’s long-time collaborators to recent protégés, with some of his closest musical colleagues sharing the emcee role. On Program III, pianist Stephen Prutsman presents his original scoring of Buster Keaton’s 7 Chances, performed with a screening of the silent film by Prutsman, Tara Helen O’Connor, Owen Dalby, Lesley Robertson, Christopher Costanza, and Anthony Manzo; this is presented alongside a work for saxophone by composer Charles Koechlin, performed by Steven Banks, whom Nuttall introduced to Spoleto audiences in 2022. On Program IV, violinist Alexi Kenney makes his Spoleto debut, performing works by Biber, Handel, and Paul Wiancko (a 2019 composer-in-residence), alongside artists James Austin Smith, Ayane Kozasa, Masumi Per Rostad, and Todd Palmer, among others. Renowned Festival favorites, including cellist Alisa Weilerstein; violinists Benjamin Beilman and Livia Sohn; violist Gabriela Diaz; and cellist Nina Lee, also return.

On May 26, a constellation of these chamber music stars join in a rollicking gala concert celebrating Nuttall’s enduring impact on Spoleto. Also featured will be the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, under the baton of acclaimed conductor Robert Spano, and tenor Paul Groves. Following the performance, Spoleto will host a special benefit for the Geoff Nuttall Legacy Fund, established to honor and advance Nuttall’s vision for excellence in chamber music, educational engagement through the arts, and interdisciplinary artistic creativity. Details can be found here.

You can view a PDF of the full program here.

Tickets to the series can be purchased online at or by calling the Spoleto box office at 843.579.3100.
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