Charleston Symphony Orchestra Presents

CSO Masterworks 1 Sun: Season Opening Concert: Elgar’s Cello Concerto
Season Opening Concert with Gerard Schwarz, conductor and Julian Schwarz, cello

No upcoming perfomances found for this event.

Due to inclement weather, the CSO Masterworks 1 concerts have been rescheduled. Friday night’s performance will now be Sunday, October 2 at 4pm. Saturday night’s performance will now be Monday, October 3 at 7:30pm. Ticket holders will be contacted regarding next steps. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Ticket Office at Thank you for your patience.

Gerard Schwarz, conductor 
Julian Schwarz, cello 


Valerie Coleman
Umoja, Anthem for Unity, for orchestra

Edward Elgar
Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Richard Strauss
Der Rosenkavalier Suite (Arr. Gerard Schwarz)

“From devilishly demanding finger gymnastics to heightened moments of expression, many of them of a hear-a-pin-drop quietness, [Julian] Schwarz’s superb performance was mighty and engaging.”

Virginia Gazette

It’s a musical family affair for the opening weekend of the CSO’s 2022-2023 season with father and son Gerard and Julian Schwarz. 

For the first time in history, the CSO will perform a work by Valerie Coleman—a highly sought-after composer for orchestra commissions. Coleman’s Umoja (“unity” in Swahili) was originally written as a song for women’s choir; it has also been reimagined for woodwind quintet and, in 2019, commissioned as a full orchestral work by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Emotive folk melodies collide with bold brass and percussion, taking the listener on a journey, addressing societal tension and social injustice, and then the music returns to its undeniable theme–and brings everyone together.

Guest cellist Julian Schwarz joins the orchestra in Elgar’s Cello Concerto, which was completed in 1919 during a particularly bleak period of the British composer’s life. The WWI armistice between Germany and the Allies had halted fighting in late 1918, but the war had already taken its toll and Elgar’s despair was poured into this last of his large-scale works. Despite the somber moment in time and the loss that it represents, the Cello Concerto is timeless music that is full of life and exudes compassion.

Richard Strauss’s music from the 1913 opera Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) was so adored that it was adapted into an orchestral suite for the concert hall in the 1940s. With its audacious horns and sweeping strings, the suite tells a dramatic love story without abandoning the comedic interludes that ensue. Strauss employed waltzes throughout the piece and, in the final moments, celebrates the triumph of true love with the “Rosenkavalier Waltz.”

This performance includes a special arrangement of Der Rosenkavalier Suite by celebrated conductor Gerard Schwarz, who is also conducting the concert. Schwarz spent 26 years as Music Director of the Seattle Symphony; his other previous positions as Music Director include New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Chamber Symphony.