Philharmonic to Celebrate Love of Music

January 28, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – January 28, 2009 – Aspiring cupids take note: the South Carolina Philharmonic is offering three opportunities to supplement the usual roses and chocolates of Valentine’s Day with its own true love: music.

Three SCP concerts in four days, all from different ensembles, provide audiences looking for something different this Valentine’s Day not only a range of options, but also proof that bows and string instruments can be just as effective as bows and arrows for Cupids.

To kick off the concerts, the SCP’s Recital Series asks “Where in the Midlands is Morihiko?” The answer is the Historic Columbia Foundation’s Robert Mills House at 1616 Blanding Street in Columbia when Music Director Morihiko Nakahara shows up for a noon concert on Thursday, Feb. 12.

The concert is free and open to the public, and there will be no admission charge to the Mills House for the event. SCP Concertmaster Mary Lee Taylor will lead a string ensemble for the hour-long mini-concert. Persons attending can tour the house and have a chance of getting half-price admission vouchers for SCP concerts, which will be given away randomly.

Two days later on Saturday, Feb. 14, the SCP’s Master Series continues its Master Series with “Love, the Magician,” a 7:30 p.m. concert at the Koger Center.

The evening’s highlight is Mendelssohn’s full magical score and incidental music to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Actors from the South Carolina Shakespeare Company, vocal soloists and the USC Women’s Chorus, directed by James Dunaway, join Nakahara and the SCP on stage for an unforgettable performing arts collaboration.

The full play will not be performed, as the emphasis will be the music. Actors, directed by Columbia’s Scott Blanks, will perform highlights from the play instead.

Also on the program is Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s El amor brujo (Love, the Magician), wherein the ghost of a former faithless lover is exorcised to allow the gypsy girl Candelas to unite, in the end, with her new love.

“The concert explores the ins and outs of love,” explains Nakahara. “The motto for both of these love stories must be, ‘all is well that ends well!’”

Nakahara presents the popular pre-concert lecture Classical Conversations at 6:30 and 6:50 p.m. in the Koger Center Large Rehearsal Room, offering ticket holders his unique insight into the evening’s program.

Available online at or by phone at 803.251.2222, tickets to “Love, the Magician” are $50, $42, $32, $24 and $16. Student and military discounts are offered. Southern Valet provides valet parking for just $6.

Rounding out the performances on Sunday, Feb. 15 is a 3 p.m. concert by the three ensembles of the SCP Youth Orchestras at the Koger Center. Patrons can enjoy listening to tomorrow’s musicians today as the Junior Strings, Repertory and Youth orchestras each perform a selection of works. Nearly 200 Midlands students participate in the program, which offers advanced musical instruction to elementary, middle and high school-aged students. The ensembles come together for three concerts each season.

Tickets for the Youth Orchestras concert are available the day of the concert only from 2 p.m. in the Koger Center lobby. Seating is general admission and tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for students and children.