The Spartanburg Philharmonic has a musical heritage dating back to the late 19th century. It began as the Spartanburg Music Association and grew over the years through a series of music festivals and an affiliation with the music department of Converse College. In 1948 the association became the Music Foundation of Spartanburg, which sponsored the Spartanburg Symphony Orchestra. Today the Spartanburg Philharmonic is under the musical direction of Sarah Ioannides, who is in her 7th year with the orchestra. Ioannides has made guest conducting appearances with symphonies in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Here are some of the highlights of upcoming winter concerts.
The January 28 concert will begin with James Horners Titanic Medley. This selection commemorates the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. It will be followed by Bachs Concerto for Two Violins, featuring Sara Johnson, concertmaster, and Mary Irwin, Principal Second Violin. The concerto is a popular piece from the Baroque Period. Sibelius Symphony No. 2, D Major will also be on the program.
The concert on February 25 will feature the Augsburger Geigenbande, a string octet made up of members of the Schwamm family from Germany. The evening will begin with Mozarts Sinfonia Concertante, with Katharina Schwamm on violin and her sister Teresa Schwamm on viola. This will be followed by Poulencs Sinfonietta. The Philharmonic will perform during the first two selections. During the final part of the program the Schwamm family will perform Bavarian folk music, selections for fiddle, and even classic Beatles music. The evening promises to be entertaining for all.
On March 31 the audience will be treated to the U.S. premier of Swedish composer Andrea Tarrodis Zephyros, followed by Liszts Piano Concerto No. 1 and Beethovens Symphony No. 3, Eroica. The program will feature young pianist George Li, winner of the prestigious 2010 Cooper International Piano Competition. The 16-year old pianist has won numerous awards and received worldwide recognition as a talented soloist. Li has received a full four year scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This will be his second appearance with the Spartanburg Philharmonic.
Performances are held at Twitchell Auditorium on the campus of Converse College. The auditorium is located at the front of the campus at 580 E. Main Street in downtown Spartanburg. Free parking is available in two adjacent lots on campus. Reserved tickets for the concerts range from $10-$35. In addition, the Spartanburg Philharmonic also sponsors Music Sandwiched In, a free lunchtime concert series at the Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters. These are held on select Wednesdays from 12:15-1:00pm. This fun series showcases local and regional talent as well as preview selections from upcoming concerts.