October 30th

We think Hector Berlioz would agree with Jack Skellington and the citizens of Halloweentown: Life’s no fun without a good scare! And this scare is one of the very best! The GSO and Maestro Tchivzhel provide the musical tricks, you get the treats of two movements of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique! And what better piece for Halloween than this infamous and epic composition featuring nightmares and witches? So don’t lose your head over the eerie and chilling music we have for you…volume up, candles lit, and feel free to dance along with Berlioz and the witches! https://youtu.be/BpyvtL-8nsU
Be sure to watch Maestro Tchivzhel’s preview, and Happy Halloween from the GSO!

October 23rd

Mozart wasn’t the only great composer who wrote concertos for his friends. That OTHER great composer of the late 18th century, Franz Josef Haydn, wrote his Trumpet Concerto for Anton Weidinger. Weidinger, in addition to being a trumpet virtuoso, was also experimenting with a new invention of his: a trumpet with 5 keys, allowing him to perform in the lower and middle registers. It may not have entirely worked-we found a quote describing the sound of the 5 keyed trumpet as a “Demented Oboe”. We think, then, it’s good thing the valved trumpet came along in the 1830’s.

Because of that, we get this spectacular sounding performance from GSO Co-Principal Trumpet, Phil Elkins. We hope you’ll enjoy Phil’s performance on the modern, valved trumpet here:https://youtu.be/wwExOqEE0BE. If only Haydn could have heard how his concerto would eventually end up sounding! We think he’d be pleased, and we think you’ll enjoy this one, too.

October 16th

Our Mozart Festival continues this week with his Horn Concerto no. 4, K. 495. And like previous pieces we’ve featured, hornist Jospeh Leutgeb was lucky enough to count Mozart as his friend-so much so, Mozart wrote this piece for Leutgeb to perform. Interestingly, the autograph score is in several different colors of ink (we even found a picture-check the comments, you’ll see red, green, and black on the first page). It’s long been thought that was a sort of practical joke (Mozart was…well, infamous for his sense of humor), but these days, scholars aren’t so sure about that…

Enjoy GSO Principal Horn Anneka Zuehlke-King’s elegant and inspiring performance and be sure to check out Maestro Tchivzhel’s Insights for Mozart’s Horn Concerto no. 4.

PS-Wondering what an autograph score is? It’s sheet music in the composer’s own handwriting. These days, musical notation software usually handles that job, but even in the 21st century, there are still composers who prefer pencil and paper to compose their music!

October 14th
Good morning, music lovers and welcome back to GSO backstage! Today we’re featuring the very talented John Young Shik Concklin and his Viola. Join us and we dive into the world of the Viola and let us know how much you love these videos by commenting below!

October 12th

It’s time for another GSO Backstage video! We love having you get to know our musicians. This week’s video features the GSO’s very talented principal horn player Anneka Zuelkhe-King. Let us know how much you love these videos by leaving a comment below!

October 8th
Hey everyone, welcome back to GSO Backstage! Join us for part two of GSO Principal Timpani Daniel Kirkpatrick’s guided tour of his kettle drums🥁🥁
October 7th

Today’s Digital Concert Hall continues our mini-Mozart festival…this was a bit of serendipity from the GSO, because as Maestro Tchivzhel went through our archives, he’s discovered a treasure trove of Mozart’s music featuring our own GSO musicians as soloists!
We have a unique work today: the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra, K. 364. At the time, the piece was considered a crossover piece, a fusion of symphony and concerto. Recall that in Mozart’s era, the symphony orchestra didn’t look or sound like it does today, and that spirit of innovation and discovery are the basic answers to “Well, why didn’t Mozart just write a double concerto, like the one he did for flute and harp?”
Indeed, composers discovered really quickly that a limitation of the concerto was making sure the material heard in the orchestra was just as compelling. So as you listen to the dazzling performances from Joanna Mulfinger, Violin and Kathryn Dey, Viola, listen a few more times and notice what Mozart has the orchestra play as well? Better still, listen again and see if you can notice some interplay between our two soloists and the entire orchestra…we think you’ll be glad you did!
Be sure you watch Maestro Tchivzhel’s Preview, then enjoy Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K. 364.

October 2nd
Another week, another concerto? Well, when the composer is Mozart, why not? And how many flute and harp concertos do you have in your playlists? It was an innovative combination in 1778, composed in Paris when Mozart was in his early 20’s. The harp was still in development, and looked at as a sort of piano, only plucked type instrument.
It’s kind of fun to remember the orchestra didn’t always look and sound the way you may think, and that composers are always experimenting with new sounds.And speaking of sounds, we’ve got two of the best sounds in the GSO as soloists for our concerto: Principal Flute Caroline Ulrich and Principal Harp John Wickey. Enjoy Maestro Tchivzhel’s preview to this unique concerto, and enjoy Mozart’s Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra, k. 299/297. Here: https://youtu.be/x68J1d_hAw4

PS-What’s in a K? You might have noticed Mozart’s music always a letter K followed by a number…what’s up with that? It’s the Köchel number-named after a musicologist (music researcher/historian) who made a chronological catalogue of everything Mozart wrote. His name was Ludwig Ritter von Köchel, and now you know what the K number means.

September 30

Hey everyone!
We’re launching a new series called GSO Backstage, where you can get to know the musicians of the GSO, and learn a bit about who they are and what they do. To get things started, GSO Principal Timpani Daniel Kirkpatrick takes you on a guided tour of his kettle drums, and answers some of his favorite frequently asked questions.
Check Out Part 1

September 25

Today’s Digital Concert Hall’s selection is piece written for a friend, which is a great story right there. In this case, music was a literal gift! The recipient was a famous performer named Anton Stadler, renowned for his abilities on the Basset-Horn, which you might not be familiar with. You’re probably familiar with the Clarinet, though, which was the new-fangled/technologically innovative version of the Basset-Horn. 
You’re also probably more familiar with Stadler’s friend, the composer who wrote the piece for him:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. So today, please enjoy Mozart’s Clarient Concerto in A Major here, performed by another performer renowned for his abilities…the GSO’s very own Principal Clarinet, Anthony Marotta. You can subscribe to his YouTube Channel here

September 18

Today’s Digital Concert Hall performance features two Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms: Numbers 6 and 5.
We’re sure many of you know that there’s quite a bit of classical music used in movies and video games…but what happens when a piece of music has it’s on IMDB credit page? That’s the case with the Hungarian Dance number 5 by Brahms. The soundtrack credit list is a whopping 615 entries long…no wonder it’s so familiar to modern audiences! There are 21 Hungarian Dances, all originally for piano. Over the years, though, all 21 came to be arranged for performance by an orchestra.
We’ve paired the famous number 5 with Hungarian Dance number 6. Enjoy Maestro Tchivzhel’ s preview for more insight into these inspiring pieces! After all, it’s not often you get a soundtrack credit for both Little Einstein’s and American Horror Story…. https://youtu.be/6EppwWMiMLg

September 11

Today is September 11. Our Digital Concert Hall selection is Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, along with comments from Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel here: https://youtu.be/pRlGl2tg3sQ.
“Our music will never again be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
-Leonard Bernstein

September 4
Today’s Digital Concert Hall’s selection needs no introduction: Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky called it an “Overture-Fantasy”, and it has much in common with a Symphonic Poem: these are large, (usually) single movement works that tell a story. And for this piece, what a story!

“Two Houses, both alike in dignity
In Fair Verona, where we lay our scene”
If you close your eyes, we’re sure you can envision the emotional intensity of William Shakespeare’s archetypical tale of two of the most famous star-crossed lovers in history, as composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
But if you watch today’s video, we’ve got several artistic and historical depictions of Romeo and Juliet for you-including a modern picture of a balcony. The story goes this isn’t just any random balcony, though.
It’s the balcony at Juliet’s House in Verona. THE balcony.
Please enjoy Maestro Tchivzhel’s preview, then immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful music ever composed for today’s Digital Concert Hall here: https://youtu.be/LWhwUDjv9Vg
“A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.


August 28
It seems our virtual night at the opera continues this week, with a live performance of Johann Strauss II’s Overture to the Fledermaus. Fledermaus, or the bat, is an operetta, and today, we’d think of it as a farce comedy. Indeed, I’m sure you’ll recognize much of the music from Bugs Bunny’s heroic efforts at music appreciation, Looney Tunes. Die Fledermaus was first performed in 1874 in Vienna, and it took a while to catch on across Europe-it wasn’t until 1904 that it found success in Paris! But once it caught on, it really caught on, being adapted into film and made for TV adaptations, and, of course, offering up some of the catchiest tunes ever composed. Pop some champagne, but not too much, and don a mask if you like…curtains up for Overture to Die Fledermaus, performed by the GSO! Be sure to check out Maestro Tchivzhel’s preview, too! https://youtu.be/joax8v1qJfg

August 21
This edition of the Digital Concert Hall is a gift for all of you in Greenville. We all firmly believe that music has the power to unite, to heal, and to inspire. And when our Executive Director, Julie Fish, heard the words to the hymn Be Still My Soul, she was moved to give all of you, in our city, the same experience that inspired her.
The result is what you’re about to see and hear. You might not know that Be Still My Soul uses the same melody as Finlandia by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The message of Finlandia is the same as the Hymn; it is a piece that speaks of hope, of overcoming fear and moments of dread, and ultimately, music that encourages all to never, ever give up.

Greenville is a community of music: from the musicians of the GSO, to singers across the upstate, our virtual performance of Finlandia/Be Still My Soul is truly the sound of THAT Greenville. We were so lucky to be joined by voices from the Greenville Chorale (Bingham Vick Jr. Artistic Director and Conductor) and Rivertree Singers (Warren Cook, Artistic Director) to create this gift, one that reflects all of us in our city.

You see, the musicians you’re seeing and hearing are not just people onstage for a brief hour or two, performing for you: they are your neighbors, your colleagues, your teachers, your carpool line comrades, the people you walk with in Falls Park, and most importantly, your friends.

And we definitely got by with a little help from our friends for this one: Steven Brundage, Founder and Executive Director of the Greenville Youth Chorale, helped us pitch this idea to our choral community. Bingham Vick worked with Maestro Tchivzhel to set the text. Michael Lining took videos from the GSO, and created the performance with his technological expertise.

So full screen, volume up, and we hope this gift will bring you comfort and the reassurance that yes, we will all get through this, together. Enjoy.

PS: NONE of this would be possible without you, Greenville. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support of all of us at the GSO. If you’re able to play YOUR part to keep the music playing, please click here 

August 14
Today’s Digital Concert Hall selection is a piece that makes us think we may need a Digital Opera House! Today, we have for you the Triumphal March and Ballet Music from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. And believe us, you’ll most definitely recognize this one. Aida is one of the most popular operas ever composed…it’s been sung over 1,100 times at New York’s Metropolitan Opera house alone! Set in ancient Egypt, Aida was first performed in Cairo, Egypt. We found some striking historical images to accompany our music: vintage posters advertising performances, songbook covers, and even outdoor performances among the pyramids! Enjoy Maestro Tchivzhel’s preview here, then start your weekend off with the epic grandeur and majesty that is the Triumphal March from Aida. Courtesy of the GSO, Greenville Chorale, and of course, Giuseppe Verdi. You’re on your own for any horses or elephants you’d might like to bring to your own Digital Opera House, though. https://youtu.be/_dHe6OUABPY

If you enjoy these videos and want to keep the music coming, the GSO needs you! Head on over to https://www.greenvillesymphony.org/donate/ to learn more.


August 7
Need a summer escape? Did COVID-19 wreck your travel plans? The GSO and Felix Mendelssohn have you covered. Thrill to evocative and exhilarating Symphony no. 4 in A Major, the “Italian”! And don’t just take our words for it…here’s what Felix himself wrote about his experiences: “This is Italy! And now has begun what I have always thought… to be the supreme joy in life. And I am loving it.”

We hope you’ll be living “la bella vita” after this one!

And hear the GSO’s live performance here: https://youtu.be/cnkczNvEEQE

Vino and pizza not included.

August 7
The GSO is incredibly grateful to the Metropolitan Arts Council (MAC) and Hollingsworth Funds Inc. for their support of Upstate arts organizations, including the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.  The GSO and 9 other arts organizations were the recipients of MAC’s recent announcement of additional COVID relief funding, thanks to a $100,000 contribution from Hollingsworth Funds, Inc.  We cannot thank MAC Executive Director Alan Ethridge and his entire team enough for their unwavering support of and advocacy for the arts.

More COVID-19 relief funds awarded to Greenville arts organizations