Magnetic South to present contemporary classical music with a Carolina connection

  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Magnetic South, a collaborative project between the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the College of Charleston Department of Music, continues to present contemporary classical music to Charleston audiences. The next concert, “The Carolina Connection II,” will take place on Friday, March 21, at 8 p.m. A pre-concert discussion panel, led by Chair of the Department of Music and Magnetic South co-founder, Edward Hart, will start at 7:30 p.m.

Yuriy Bekker is concertmaster. Yiorgos Vassilandonakis will conduct.

The concert will honor and promote local and contemporary music creation. “The Carolina Connection II” specifically will feature composers with close ties to S.C. and Charleston – Ayala Asherov, Jon Schwabe and Andrew McKenna Lee.

Ayala Asherov, an Israeli-born composer and singer / songwriter, lives and works in Charleston. Her music ranges from songwriting to music in the concert hall, and to multimedia including film, museum exhibitions and dance. Her new piece, “’Beh-Rehsheet’-In the Beginning,” is a Magnetic South commission and world premiere.

Vassilandonakis describes Asherov as “a strong musical personality in every genre she tackles.” He adds, “Her music has a strange ability to be disarmingly direct and hit the right spot.”

Jon Schwabe received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina and is Professor of Theory and Composition, and chairs the composition and theory area at the University of Northern Iowa. His piece, “Morning of the Curious Hoarfrost,” is commissioned by Magnetic South where it will make its world premiere.

Edward Hart touts, “Jon is a very talented composer whose musical language is both sophisticated and accessible. We had many great times as fellow graduate assistants at the University of SC – great to work again with a gifted composer and an old friend.”

Andrew McKenna Lee was born and raised in downtown Charleston. Having recently received his Doctorate degree in Composition from Princeton University, he is known as “an astoundingly virtuosic guitar player... and far more importantly… a thoughtful and original composer.” (Jayson Greene, eMusic) His new piece, “Harlan Variations,” is a Magnetic South commission and world premiere.

On Lee, Vassilandonakis expounds “I felt it was time to introduce Andrew to his hometown as the accomplished composer that he is. His music is sensitive, eloquent and very personal, yet always crafty and sophisticated, with energy, lightness and determination, and a wonderful sense of color.”

Lee’s latest cd with neo-psychedelic band The Knells will be available for purchase at the concert. The CD’s cover is the work of SC native and Andrew’s childhood friend, Shepard Fairey.

“The Carolina Connection II,” will take place on Friday, March 21, at 8 p.m., in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Tickets are $25.00 for adults and $10.00 for students.

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