Chamber Music Charleston Presents PS 23 Capturing the American Spirit: music of Dvorak, Price, Burleigh, and Still
part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival

Wed, Jun 7, 2023 at 6pm

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The story begins with a young singer named Harry Thacker Burleigh, who was working as a custodian at the National Conservatory in New York City during the 1890s to fulfill the requirements of his scholarship. One evening, Antonín Dvořák, the newly appointed director, overheard Burleigh's deep baritone voice singing the spirituals that his grandfather had taught him. This chance encounter marked the beginning of a remarkable friendship and Dvořák's introduction to the world of African-American spirituals.

Chamber Music Charleston’s program brings together the music of Burleigh and Dvorak, alongside those of other important but long-neglected composers such as Florence Price and William Grant Still. Through their music, the program paints a vivid portrait of a distinctive yet classically-informed, American sound rooted in the country's diverse cultural heritage.

PROGRAM selections from

Antonin Dvořák String Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American”

H.T. Burleigh Southland Sketches for String Quartet

Florence Price String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor

William Grant Still Lyric Quartet


Frances Hsieh and Jenny Weiss, violins; Ben Weiss, viola; Tim O’Malley, cello

South Carolina Society Hall

72 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401