Here at Spoleto Festival USA, we’re not only ringing in the New Year—we’re also ringing in news of the new season! The 43rd season in 2019, held May 24 to June 9 in Charleston, promises to be one of the most exciting yet. From a brand-new Salome (one of opera’s great masterpieces) to four world and US premiere productions (Roots, Letter to a Friend in Gaza, What Girls Are Made Of, One Thousand and One Nights) and even more music premieres, Spoleto has a lot of firsts in store.

There are also a lot of greats—performers who rack up accolade after accolade, year after year. And as we were putting the finishing touches on this season’s ticket brochure (and as the sun began to set on 2018), we noticed that many of our upcoming artists appeared on many publications’ “Best of” lists. Take a look:

Esperanza Spalding, who kicks off the Wells Fargo Jazz series with two concerts in the College of Charleston Cistern Yard May 24 and 25, released her album 12 Little Spells in 2018. It made not one, but TWO(!), New York Times lists: “Best Jazz of 2018” and “The 28 Best Albums of 2018.”

The First Citizens Bank Front Row artists of I’m With Her landed on The New York Times “The 65 Best Songs of 2018” for their song “Game to Lose.” We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a performance of this song on June 1 at the Cistern Yard.

Celebrated countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo is returning for the fourth time to the Bank of America Chamber Music series at Dock Street Theatre. (Program details to come in April.) His song, “Liquid Days,” from his debut album ARC, was counted among NPR’s “The 100 Best Songs of 2018.” Oh, and ARC was nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award!

Pianist David Virelles brings his transcendent sound to the Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston for six concerts May 25 to 28. His 2018 album, Igbó Alákǫrin (The Singer’s Grove), Vol. I and II, received copious end-of-year acclaim: The 2018 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, Chicago Tribune‘s “Best Jazz Recordings of 2018,” and JazzTimes‘ Top 50 Albums of 2018.


Dafnis Prieto Big Band,
also performing during the 2019 Wells Fargo Jazz series at the Charleston Gaillard Center on May 29, also landed on The 2018 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll. But perhaps even more exciting, the ensemble’s debut album, Back to the Sunset, scored a 2019 Grammy Award nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album!

Riding the wave of their fifth album, All Ashore, the Punch Brothers are set to play at the Cistern Yard on May 26. Not to brag, but Spoleto has presented this five-time Grammy-nominated bluegrass quintet twice before—and the guys may get to bring a golden gramophone trophy to this triumphant third appearance. All Ashore received a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album of 2018.

Want to see more of the 2019 lineup? Click here! And don’t forget to mark your calendars; tickets for the 43rd season go on sale January 16 at 10:00am.