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Charleston and the New World

  • Gaillard Center 95 Calhoun Street Charleston, SC, 29401 (map)

There is perhaps no better way to describe our 2019-2020 season than “an embarrassment of riches.” Dvořák’s New World Symphony hardly needs an introduction. Among the most popular symphonies of all time, From the New World debuted to “thunderous applause” at Carnegie Hall in 1893, with immediate encores around the world. Dvořák wrote this masterpiece after studying Native American and African American spirituals in the United States, and became heavily involved in promoting the success of African American musicians and composers. He fervently believed that the future of American composition lay in the roots of spirituals and folk music, saying, “They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them.”

True to Dvořák’s words, folk and spiritual music is the common denominator for both of the pieces accompanying the New World Symphony. Edmund Thorton Jenkins’ Charlestonia is a rhapsody for orchestra with roots in African and jazz music that predates Gershwin. Additionally, the Shanghai Quartet will perform the world premiere of Edward Hart’s A Charleston Concerto, written in three movements to examine the past, present, and future of our city. Hart takes Dvořák’s advice to heart, seamlessly weaving elements of traditional Gullah music into his concerto. Part of the City of Charleston’s 350th Anniversary Celebration, Charleston and the New World examines our city’s place in the world and its unique contributions to the genre of classical music.

PROGRAM

EDMUND THORNTON JENKINS

Charlestonia

EDWARD HART 

A Charleston Concerto

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK

Symphony No. 9

ARTISTS

Shanghai String Quartet

Ken Lam, Conductor