Orchestral Work by Radiohead Guitarist Is Part of Innovative Spoleto Festival USA 2012

The Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, is renowned for its innovative opera and classical music programming.  One unconventional offering from the upcoming 2012 season is the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra’s contemporary program, Orchestra Uncaged (Sunday, June 3 at 8:00 PM). The concert will feature two pieces by Radiohead lead guitarist Jonny GreenwoodDoghouse (2010) and the U.S. premiere of 48 Responses to Polymorphia (2011), an homage to Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki’s Polymorphia. The performance will also honor the centenary of John Cage’s birth with the American premiere of Cage’s 1991 orchestral trilogy, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Eight, and Twenty-Nine.

The rest of the 2012 season will feature musical premieres from American, Chinese, Iranian, and Japanese composers. Opera lovers will enjoy new productions of Philip Glass’s Kepler and Guo Wenjing’s Feng Yi Ting. The Festival’s contemporary music series, “Music in Time” includes U.S. premieres by distinguished Japanese composers such as Toshi Ishiyanagi, Toshio Hosokawa, and Somei Satoh, as well as the world premiere of a work composed specifically for Spoleto Festival USA by Stephen Scott of the Bowed Piano Ensemble. Additionally, a world premiere for clarinet and piano by the young Iranian composer Hooshyar Khayam will be presented in the Bank of America Chamber Music Series.

The 36th annual Spoleto Festival USA will be held May 25 through June 10 in Charleston, South Carolina. A listing of the Festival’s 2012 U.S. and world premiere performances is below. To buy tickets, go to spoletousa.org or call at 843.579.3100

U.S. Premiere *

World Premiere **


  • Kepler: May 27 (7:30pm); May 28 (8:00pm), May 31 (8:00pm), June 2 (8:00pm) *
  • Feng Yi Ting: May 27 (8:00pm), May 29 (8:00pm), June 1 (8:00pm), June 4 (8:00pm), June 7 (8:00pm)*

Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra

  • Orchestra Unplugged: June 3 (8:00pm)
  • Featuring Jonny Greenwood’s 48 Responses to Polymorphia (2011) * and John Cage’s Twenty-Six, Twenty-Eight, and Twenty-Nine *

Music in Time

  • Listening to Fragrances of the Dusk: May 27 (5:00pm)
  • Toshi Ichiyanagi: Symphony No. 8 (Revelation 2011) *
  • Toshio Hosokawa: Garten Lieder *
  • Somei Satoh: Listening to Fragrances of the Dusk *
  •  The Bowed Piano Ensemble:  May 29 (8:00pm)
  • 1977: Music of Three Worlds **
  •  Dramas: June 7 (5:00pm)
  • Tansy Davies: Grind Show (unplugged) *

Bank of America Chamber Music

  • Program VIII: June 5, 11am & 1pm; June 6, 11am – Hooshyar Khayam: piece for clarinet and piano**

Photo credit: William Struhs

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