SC Public Radio to offer Spoleto Festival USA programming as part of ‘Spoleto at Home’ initiative

Festival programming to be featured on ‘Sonatas & Soundscapes’ May 22 – June 5; ‘Spoleto Backstage’ podcast to return with 11 new episodes starting May 22

SC Public Radio (SCPR) today announced plans to offer Spoleto Festival programming as part of a new “Spoleto at Home” initiative. The network will utilize its “Sonatas & Soundscapes” program, as well as its “Spoleto Backstage” podcast to bring past festival performances and behind-the-scenes insights to listeners across the state and beyond.

On March 24, Spoleto Festival USA made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s festival – a first in the event’s 44-year history. Throughout that storied history, the twice-daily chamber music concerts at Dock Street Theatre have been beloved cornerstones of each season, famous for their assemblage of leading musicians and eclectic programming. As such, the festival is partnering with SCPR to produce one of the most robust elements of “Spoleto at Home”: weekday radio broadcasts of 11 past “Bank of America Chamber Music” programs.

From May 22 – June 5, “Sonatas & Soundscapes,” which airs Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. – noon, will feature 11 “Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA” performances from the past decade. All 11 performances are being selected by the artistic director of the festival’s “Bank of America Chamber Music” series, Geoff Nuttall, who will also provide commentary regarding each selection.

Additionally, “Sonatas & Soundscapes” will feature a series of interviews conducted by SCPR’s Bradley Fuller. Among the subjects of those interviews will be veteran performers of chamber music, such as Todd Palmer, composer-in-residence Jessica Meyer and Charleston area native and pianist Micah McLaurin, as well as the festival’s general manager, Nigel Redden, who will address future plans for the event.

The program will have additional areas of focus, including: The celebration of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Charleston, featuring music that may have been composed and performed during that period; emphasis on the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth; and The Prokofiev and Shostakovich recording from 2019, along with a previously recorded interview with the conductor of this work.

For those seeking to consume festival-related programming online, a live stream of “Sonatas and Soundscapes” will be available at www.southcarolinapublicradio.org and through the SCETV app, which is available for download on all Android and Apple devices. Additionally, beginning on May 22, the “Spoleto Backstage” podcast will return with the first of 11 new episodes. With new episodes released each Friday, the podcast will be co-hosted by Bradley Fuller and Geoff Nuttall and will feature public domain works from “Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA,” as well as interviews and lively commentary.

For more information on Spoleto Festival USA, visit www.spoletousa.org. For more on SCPR, visit www.southcarolinapublicradio.org.

“Spoleto Festival USA is one of the world’s most renowned arts festivals; and, although this year’s festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re proud to present our listeners with some of the event’s top performances from the last decade. We appreciate this collaboration with Spoleto Festival USA and look forward to covering new performances in the years to come.” –SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett

“When we initially announced the festival’s cancellation, we received an outpouring of overwhelmingly encouraging, albeit saddened, messages from our audience. Artists were similarly disappointed – Spoleto is a highlight of their year. With ‘Spoleto at Home,’ the festival seeks to celebrate our community and honor the festival process to the best of our ability. While gathering in person is not possible, I hope ‘Spoleto at Home’ programming can bring a small amount of what makes the festival so special into each of our living rooms, providing a little light in these dark moments.” –Spoleto Festival USA General Director Nigel Redden

“I’m really excited to be co-hosting SC Public Radio’s ‘Spoleto at Home’ programming with Geoff. As first violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and artistic director of the Spoleto Festival USA ‘Bank of America Chamber Music’ series, he knows the chamber repertoire inside-out and brings it to life, not just through his playing but also through entertaining – often humorous – commentary.” –SC Public Radio’s Bradley Fuller

“There’s nothing like the energy and intimacy of being at the Dock Street Theatre during a ‘Bank of America Chamber Music’ concert at Spoleto Festival USA. But these daily concert broadcasts on ‘Sonatas & Soundscapes’ will take you as close as possible to hearing the magic that happens live. While I absolutely wish we could all be there in person, choosing my top 11 programs of the last decade has been such a gift, and I am overjoyed to be able to relive these special musical moments with the Spoleto audience and SC Public Radio listeners.” -Spoleto Festival USA Artistic Director of the “Bank of America Chamber Music” Series Geoff Nuttall

About Spoleto Festival USA
Founded in 1977, Spoleto Festival USA is an annual 17-day performing arts festival in Charleston, S.C. that presents leading artists in classical and popular music, opera, jazz, dance, and theater. The 2021 season takes place May 28 to June 13 in various locations on the downtown peninsula, including the historic Dock Street Theatre and the Charleston Gaillard Center. Spoleto Festival USA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
About South Carolina ETV and Public Radio
South Carolina ETV (SCETV) is the state’s public educational broadcasting network. Using television, radio and diverse digital properties, SCETV’s mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning. In addition to airing local programs, such as “Carolina Classrooms,” “Making it Grow,” “Palmetto Scene” and “This Week in South Carolina,” SCETV also presents multiple programs to regional and national audiences, including “Expeditions,” “Reconnecting Roots,” “Reel South,” “Somewhere South,” “Yoga in Practice” and “Live from Charleston Music Hall.” In addition, SC Public Radio produces the national radio production, “Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA.”