USC piano professor follows her passion
By Frenche Brewer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-5400
First loves are almost always passionate and all consuming, but in the end, sadly, often not meant to last.
And so it was for Marina Lomazov who fell in love with the ballet at the tender age of 5. The University of South Carolina School of Music professor and piano virtuoso dreamed of being a ballerina in her native Kiev, Ukraine. However, after her first performance, Lomazov’s ballet teacher diplomatically instructed her mother to “consider another activity” for the young Lomazov, such as the piano. Maybe that teacher somehow knew then that Lomazov’s artistic talent was at her fingertips and not on her tip toes.
“As soon as I started playing piano, it took off. I've always loved performing, practicing … everything that goes into being a concert pianist,” Lomazov said.
Lomazov first credits her mother for nurturing her love of music and encouraging her to develop a good practice ethic and then the teachers at the Kiev Conservatory, who also recognized her natural ability and named her the youngest first prize winner of the Kiev Piano Competition.
Lomazov’s family immigrated to New York City when she was 19, and she enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music and later the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. She continued to acquire accolades and invitations to perform on some of the nation’s and world’s grandest stages. A popular artist at music festivals, Lomazov has performed at the Burgos Music Festival (Spain), Moulin d’Andé Arts Festival (France), Summer Evenings in Kiev (Ukraine), Sulzbach-Rosenberg Music Festival (Germany), Hamamatsu International Piano Academy (Japan), Chautauqua Music Festival (N.Y.), Northwest Piano Festival (Oregon), Wassermann Festival (Utah), Grand Teton Music Festival (Wyoming) and Brevard Music Festival (North Carolina).
Called a “diva of the piano” by the Salt Lake City Tribune, Lomazov’s reputation as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today preceded her arrival at USC in 2002. Soon after, the idea of launching her own piano festival was born.
“We wanted to provide a rigorous training platform for outstanding pre-college pianists from across the United States and have daily concerts by celebrated concert pianists. This dual mission continues to form the core of the festival today,” Lomazov said. “It's an opportunity for music lovers and musicians from across the region to come together for a week celebrating classical music, and I am always touched by the sense of community that emerges.”
This year, the Southeastern Piano Festival, held June 10–16 on the USC campus, celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Twenty young pianists take part in a rigorous program and participate in the Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition. Winners receive cash awards and the opportunity to perform with the South Carolina Philharmonic.
For music lovers, the festival offers daily concerts by world-class pianists.
“The attraction of the festival lies in its versatility: Whether one is a budding piano virtuoso, a music lover or a piano teacher, the festival offers something for everyone who loves piano,” Lomazov said.
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