PREVIEW: Tabea Debus wields an instrument of expressive variety – Charleston City Paper | Start Classified

Remember that exciting day in elementary school when the music teacher handed out an actual, real instrument to play with? A black plastic recorder emerged from a small bag and made its way through Hot Cross Buns with a loud squeak. The history of the recorder goes back a long way: the instrument, typically made of wood, is an integral part of Baroque and Renaissance music that dates back to the 15th century.

Recorder virtuoso Tabea Debus, who will perform in several programs of the Spoleto Festival USA chamber music series this year, was 6 years old when she was introduced to the medieval instrument.

“I started playing it almost by accident because I had a friend who was starting classes and he was a bit afraid to go alone,” Debus said. “He quit after a couple of years but I enjoyed it so I had classes to myself.”

Debus, who grew up in Germany and has lived in London for eight years, was due to attend the festival in 2020 but is now looking forward to her first trip to Charleston this year.

The Bank of America Chamber Music Series presents 33 performances each year at the 450-seat Dock Street Theater. Around two dozen musicians create a total of 11 programs three times each, alternating between classical chamber music and contemporary pieces.

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