Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



Gaining the knowledge of the concert masters with Greenville Symphony Orchestra

Posted 1/21/2013 3:03:00 PM

One thing that I’ve been dying to do is start going to more discussions of classical music. As much as I love the genre, I don’t know as much about the motivations behind individual works and composers as I would prefer when I walk into a concert hall. The truth is, there are often concert discussions surrounding performances or smaller chamber concerts that are the perfect way to delve deeper into the history behind the music, and the environments in which this takes place are usually convivial and welcoming.

The Greenville Symphony Orchestra is offering just this at Pre-Concert talks one hour prior to its 8 p.m. Jan. 26 and 3 p.m. Jan. 27 Northern Voyages performances. Music enthusiasts will have the chance to gather in the Founder’s Room above Larkin’s on the River for free discussions lasting 45 minutes, offering interesting insights into the performances that will follow.

If you go, you will walk in to the concerts knowing stories and anecdotes surrounding Britten’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell (Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34), Elgar’s Cockaigne, Op. 49 (In London Town), and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1, Op. 39. I find this a special treat because I’ve always appreciated the way GSO maintains a wide repertoire of symphonic performances, from the big composers whom everyone learned in elementary school to more complicated, obscure ones that also have so much to offer. The breadth and knowledge that the GSO portrays in its concerts will be intimately shared with attendees of the Pre-Concert Talks -- something that will really be too good to pass up!

Tickets to the performances range from $15 to $55. For more information on the talks and on “Northern Voyages,” please visit