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Young Performers Learn from Notable Guest Artists at Southeastern Piano Festival


Entering its sixteenth year, the Southeastern Piano Festival will once again bring rising talents and seasoned performers alike to the University of South Carolina School of Music and other venues around the city of Columbia. The festival, which takes place from June 17th-23rd, is comprised of a series of performances, learning opportunities, a community outreach event, piano competition, and winners’ recital.

This festival’s lineup of guest artists this year includes names like Simone Dinnerstein, Lera Auerbach, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, and Charlie Albright, among others.  Most of these guest artists will not only give recitals, but also work with the young pianists (ages 13-18) perfecting their craft and vying for first prize in the festival’s Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition.  

“We love our performing pianists to be involved in the festival in multiple capacities,” pianist and festival artistic director Marina Lomazov says. “Virtually every single one of these pianists will interact with our group of young rising stars of the pre-college participants that come to take part in the program.”

According to Joseph Rackers, who also serves as an artistic director for the festival, the regimen of the pre-college participants is an intense one that includes hours of practice, master classes, lessons with members of the USC piano faculty, and other performance opportunities.   

“They live and breathe music during that week,” Rackers says. “Really, that’s why they’re here. They’re really serious musicians even at that age.”

In this feature that aired Wednesday, June 13th, Lomazov and Rackers perform Gabriel Fauré’s “Le pas espagnol” from Dolly Suite, op. 56, and share with SCPR’s Bradley Fuller about the events and guest artists of the 2018 Southeastern Piano Festival.

Credit Bradley Fuller/ SC Public Radio
Pianists Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers, artistic directors of the Southeastern Piano Festival.