“The Great Escape” Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Maestro Tchivzhel’s Defection from the U.S.S.R. and features Greenville Singer-Songwriter Edwin McCain as the Narrator for Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait”

August 26, 2016

Musicians from the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel, will present the opening Masterworks Series concert of the 2016-2017 season, “The Great Escape,” celebrating the 25th anniversary of Maestro Tchivzhel’s defection from the former Soviet Union on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Peace Concert Hall.

The GSO will open the concert with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3, Op. 29 in D major.  This symphony, written in five movements instead of the standard four movements, is Tchaikovsky’s only completed symphony in a major key.  This romantic work was programmed on Maestro Tchivzhel’s very first visit to the United States with the U.S.S.R. State Symphony Orchestra’s American tour which began in Greenville, SC in February 1991.  It was during this tour that Maestro Tchivzhel and his wife Luba made the decision to defect to the United States with their four-year-old son, Arvid.

Following Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony is Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” which will feature the popular singer/songwriter/musician and Greenville native, Edwin McCain as narrator.  This passionate statement of freedom includes excerpts from President Lincoln’s greatest documents, including the Gettysburg Address.  “The Great Escape” will close with George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”  This boisterous and jazzy piece was inspired by Gershwin’s visit to Paris and is one of his most well-known works and one of Maestro Tchivzhel’s favorite pieces.

Speaker Paul Hyde will lead a Pre-Concert Talk one hour prior to the Saturday and Sunday performances backstage in the rehearsal room of the Peace Concert Hall.  Pre-Concert Talks give interesting insights to the program and composers to enhance your concert experience.  These talks are free of charge and last approximately 45 minutes.

Tickets to the Greenville Symphony Orchestra’s “The Great Escape” concert range from $18 to $69.  For ticket information, contact the Peace Center box office at (864) 467-3000 or toll-free at (800) 888-7768 and online at peacecenter.org.  For more information about the concert, visit the Greenville Symphony Orchestra website at greenvillesymphony.org.


The Greenville Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to providing educational and cultural opportunities for the citizens of Greenville and surrounding communities through the presentation of live and orchestral music.  Offering excellence in live musical performance, the orchestra enriches lives, educates minds, and encourages community support of the arts.