Tickets now on sale
The critically acclaimed festival transforms the University of South Carolina and Columbia, S.C. into a major cultural destination on June 14-21, drawing audiences and piano talent from around the world. This year Italian, Russian and Chinese artists plus the chair of the piano department at The Juilliard School are featured guests.
The festival opens with the Piano Fireworks Gala Concert, featuring University of South Carolina faculty pianists Marina Lomazov, Joseph Rackers, Phillip Bush, Charles Fugo and other guest artists performing on Steinway Living Legends Concert Artist Pianos, instruments that have been played by some of the world’s greatest artists. The gala concert is Sunday, June 14.
The festival culminates with the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. After a rigorous weeklong program, 20 of the nation’s best pre-college pianists compete for cash awards and the opportunity to perform with the South Carolina Philharmonic. The competition takes place Friday, June 19.
Among the nearly dozen world-class guest artists are pianists Joyce Yang and Alexander Kobrin, medalists of the prestigious 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Festival.
“As gold and silver medalists at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Alexander and Joyce are among the very best concert artists on the scene today,” says festival director Marina Lomazov. “Their music making, although very different in style from each other, will dazzle, mesmerize and excite the senses with virtuosity and insight.”
Concerts take place at venues around the city throughout the week and have moderately priced tickets with $5 student rush tickets and free tickets to those 18 and younger one hour prior to each concert.
The festival also offers insight into the music-making process. Master classes, panel discussions and competition performances are open to the public and free to observe. Program director Joseph Rackers said, “Here audiences can witness the student-mentor dynamic by observing master teachers and young artists in master classes and private instruction.”
Yoheved Kaplinsky, an award-winning musician and chair of the piano department at The Julliard School, will present a series of public master classes Tuesday through Thursday, June 16-18. Kaplinksy and other festival instructors will share their teaching experiences in a panel discussion hosted by Lomazov on Wednesday, June 17.