Charleston Symphony Announces Pivot from Pandemic, Releases Programming for 2021-2022 Season: ''A Triumphant Return''

APRIL 27, 2021 (Charleston, South Carolina) – The Charleston Symphony (CSO) today announced programming and plans for its 2021-2022 performance season, starting in September with concerts at the Charleston Gaillard Center. The CSO is one of a few select orchestras in the United States that continued serving its community throughout the pandemic by performing full symphonic repertoire for live audiences.
The Charleston Symphony’s 21-22 season is focused on the artistic celebration of the orchestra’s ability to bring communities together through shared experiences of the greatest orchestral music in the world. Programs will feature larger-sized orchestras, expansive repertoire, exciting soloists, and an enhanced Virtual Concert Hall. The eight-month celebration of music and community culminates with the Beethoven Symphony Cycle completion; the orchestra is excited to welcome back the CSO Chorus to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, an Ode to Joy.
To launch this celebration, the organization is planning a number of free community performances and will start by releasing its 2020-2021 Masterworks season finale concert free to the public today, on the CSO Virtual Concert Hall. Community members will have complimentary access to the orchestra’s live streamed performance featuring Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with pianist, Sara Davis Buechner, and Beethoven Symphony No. 5. 
“We are grateful to have been able to perform all but one of Beethoven’s Symphonies in our celebration of his 250th birthday to limited live audiences due to the pandemic, but we are also very much looking forward to getting back to our mission of engaging and inspiring our entire community. The CSO will boldly return to the stage this fall focused on serving the greater Charleston community once again, through our performances and education and outreach initiatives,” said CSO Executive Director Michael Smith. 
Ken Lam, in his eighth and final season as Music Director with the Charleston Symphony will lead the orchestra in eight Masterworks programs with two performances each. The opening Masterworks weekend in September will usher in a celebratory season, with music from Berlioz, Rachmaninoff, and Saint-Saëns.
Principal Pops Conductor, Yuriy Bekker, will lead four Pops concerts, and will be joined by Charlton Singleton and Quiana Parler from the local Grammy Award-winning group, Ranky Tanky, for one of the performances. “We begin the Pops Series with a trip to Hollywood with Music of the Movies: Heroes and Villains, and end it celebrating Charleston’s deep connection to French culture with Dreaming of April in Paris in the spring,” said Bekker.
The full list of Masterworks and Pops programming can be found here.

Subscriptions and Tickets

Current CSO subscribers may renew their pre-COVID Masterworks and Pops season tickets now and reserve their existing seats by June 1, 2021. New subscriptions are also available immediately for purchase. Subscribers receive 15% off the price of regular single tickets. A Pick 6 subscription is also available to mix and match your favorite six concerts from both series. Tickets for individual performances will go on sale to the general public on August 9, 2021.
To become a subscriber or renew an existing subscription:
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●       Call: 843-723-7528 or (843) 242-3099
●       Mail: PO Box 30818, Charleston, SC 29417
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About the Charleston Symphony
The CSO is celebrating its 84th season of serving the community through engaging musical performances and enriching education programs. Founded in 1936, the CSO remains a cornerstone of Charleston’s arts and culture scene, performing Masterworks and Pops series at the newly renovated Charleston Gaillard Center. In recent years, the CSO has expanded its education programs and now invests more than $530,000 annually to reach students throughout the tri-county region.
As the largest full-time performing arts organization in the state, the CSO serves close to 50,000 adults and children annually. Employing 24 full-time “core” musicians and more than 100 guest musicians throughout the season, the organization has a $3.5 million budget and relies on philanthropic support to cover 55% of annual operating expenses. Every year the orchestra hosts more than 150 concerts and activities throughout South Carolina, including education and family experiences, community engagement events, free performances, chamber music, main series concerts, and more. To continue learning about the CSO, visit