The College of Charleston Music Department has partnered with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra for a new project called Magnetic South. The series of concerts and classes highlights music from contemporary composers like Bela Bartok, Theodore Antoniou, Cindy Cox, and Paul Chihara in an effort to bring masterworks of the 20th and 21st century to the Lowcountry.

The series kicks off on Fri. Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. with the concert Dances and Reflections, and ticket-holders can show up a half hour early for a pre-concert talk with the composers at the Simons Center Recital Hall. The series will also offer free master classes with a focus on film music from composers Cox and Chihara at the Simons Center on Jan. 18 and 19.

Here’s the official program lineup:

Béla Bartôk Rumanian Folk Dances (1917)
Theodore Antoniou Octet (1984, SC premiere)
Cindy Cox Transfigurations of Grief (2011, East Coast premiere)
Paul Chihara Chamber Symphony (2009, SC premiere)

The second concert in the series, Bookends: Chamber Symphony Then & Now, features music from Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, Arvo Part, and John Adams on March 30.

The events are open to the public, and tickets cost $20, $10 for students. Call (843) 723-7528 or see for more details.

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