Charleston Symphony Presents

CSO Masterworks 5 Sat: The Music of Bernstein and Marsalis
Weaving American Stories

No upcoming perfomances found for this event.

William Eddins, Conductor

Bella Hristova, Violin

About the Show

Music and other art forms are inextricably linked and have been for ages, bridging the gaps of time and uniting people through storytelling. In this concert, the CSO will explore works inspired by the written word and one piece that is rooted back in time yet sounds fresh and colorful. The three American composers – Bernstein, Marsalis, and Copland – also reveal the melting pot that comprises this nation’s history and its people.

Violin Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra weaves together American folk, blues, and jazz with impressive classical violin technique – it results in ubiquitous musical expression capable only of someone with a profound knowledge and mastery of all the above. That someone is composer Wynton Marsalis …the famous trumpet virtuoso, Pulitzer Prize winner, and jazz legend. From the slow, lazy sounds in the beginning to the rowdy, foot-stomping fourth movement, violinist Bella Hristova will demonstrate what San Francisco Classical Voice called, “her rich tone, luxurious vibrato, and confident phrasing.”

Leonard Bernstein‘s brief “Overture” from Candide is intense, dramatic, and theatric – but never takes itself too seriously, which is quite fitting for the classic novel by Voltaire that it’s based on. Though the original operetta that Bernstein wrote music for didn’t quite succeed in the 1950s, the Overture has become a familiar favorite frequently performed by orchestras and loved by audiences.

From the first few notes of Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, audiences’ ears perk up as the musical stage is set for a tale to unfold. There is no denying that Bernstein knew how to weave a story, drawing emotions and producing pieces that could stand alone independent of actors or words. West Side Story, borrowing heavily from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet continued a
tradition of popular narratives about star-crossed lovers hindered by uncontrollable situations. Through Symphonic Dances, Bernstein compels listeners to experience the constrained love, the daring hopefulness, the imminent danger, and the inevitable despair of the characters.


Leonard Bernstein      “Overture” from Candide
Wynton Marsalis          Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra
Aaron Copland             Our Town
Leonard Bernstein       West Side Story: Symphonic Dances 

Guest conductor William Eddins is the Music Director Emeritus of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and a respected guest conductor of major orchestras throughout the world. His engagements have included the New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Boston,
Atlanta, Detroit, Baltimore.


  • Wherever you find or stream your music, listen to a 2019 recording of Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto featuring Nicola Benedetti on violin (for whom the concerto was written) with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Benedetti won a Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for this recording In 2020.
  • A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Bulgarian-American Bella Hristova has won numerous awards including First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, First Prize in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and is a Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
  • William Eddins is an accomplished pianist and chamber musician who regularly conducts from the piano in works by Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin, and Ravel. He was also a founding member of the New World Symphony.