Marina Lomazov, Artistic Director
Joseph Rackers, Program Director
2016 Festival dates
June 12–19, 2016
The Southeastern Piano Festival is solely supported through generous contributions
from people like you. Many Festival concerts are sold-out affairs. You can ensure
that you will have a seat at the next outstanding concert by making a contribution
to the festival. Your support will allow the University of South Carolina School of
Music to continue to bring the festival to you. To make a contribution, please contact
Polly Laffitte, 803-777-4337, or you may contribute online here.
The 2016 lineup of guest stars
The 2016 Southeastern Piano Festival has a stellar lineup of guest artists you will
not want to miss:
2016 Guest Artists
Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color, Sergei
Babayan brings a deep understanding and insight to a stylistically diverse repertoire,
which includes a performance history of 54 concertos. Le Figaro has praised his "unequaled
touch, perfectly harmonious phrasing and breathtaking virtuosity."
The Washington Post wrote, "Thank heaven for Ann Schein... what a relief it is to
hear a pianist who, with no muss or fuss, simply reaches right into the heart of whatever
she is playing – and creates music so powerful you cannot tear yourself away". From
her first recordings with Kapp Records, and her highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital
debut as an artist on the Sol Hurok roster, Ann Schein's amazing career has earned
her high praise in major American and European cities and in more than 50 countries
around the world.
While still a student at Peabody Conservatory, Julian Martin began a career that has
taken him to major halls around the globe. Endorsements have followed from the world
press, from Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Los Angeles to Florence, Moscow, and Tokyo.
A native of Alabama, Martin received his early training from Beverly Gibbons and conductor
Vernon Raines. He continued his studies at Peabody where he studied with Leon Fleisher.
He also worked supplementally with Guido Agosti, Robert Casadesus, and Nadia Boulanger.
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank
First prize winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004
Concert Artist Guild International Competition, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate
Lee has been lauded by the New York Times as a pianist with "a huge, richly varied
sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style," and by the Washington Post
for her "stunning command of the keyboard. Technically dazzling and intellectually
probing artistry exemplify pianist Ran Dank who won a coveted place on the Young Concert
Artists roster in 2009 and subsequently made his New York recital debut sponsored
by YCA and the Jerome L.Greene Foundation at Merkin Hall December 14, 2009. He was
a laureate of the Cleveland International Competition, the Naumburg Piano Competition
and the Sydney International Piano Competition and First Prize winner of the Hilton
Head International Piano Competition.
Pianist Jason Kwak enjoys a successful career, both as an artist and as a pedagogue
and has received top prize in many piano competitions. Born in Seoul, South Korea,
Dr. Kwak began his piano studies at the age of four. He has earned his degrees in
Piano Performance from Eastman School of Music and The University of Texas at Austin.
His principal piano teachers include David Watkins, Douglass Weeks, Barry Snyder,
and Nancy Garrett. Dr. Kwak is currently a Professor of Piano and Coordinator of the
Keyboard Area at Texas State University.
Eric Lu, born in 1997, is starting to establish himself as a young pianist with a
distinctive voice. In February 2015, he was awarded the first prize and concerto prize
at the 9th National Chopin Competition in Miami, FL. In 2013, at the age of 15, he
was admitted into the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he currently
studies. Eric has received top prizes at a number of other major international competitions.
Now entering her six year as the second pianist for the Arthur Fraser International
Piano Competition concerto performances, Inara Zandmane was born in the capital of
Latvia, Riga and started playing the piano at the age of six. She has been the staff
accompanist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro since 2003, performing
up to 50 recitals per year. Ms. Zandmane is frequently invited to serve as an official
accompanist at national competitions and conferences.
Konzert Kidz, a new initiative begun last summer, becomes a regular SEPF program and
continues with concerts throughout the year. Designed to attract young audiences to
concert halls, Konzert Kidz gives children life-long appreciation of the live music
experience. More than 100 families signed up to participate in the event at last year’s
Piano Fireworks concert, allowing children to come on stage and interact with the
Steinway Grands after the festival’s opening concert. Learn more.
About the Festival
The Southeastern Piano Festival is a high-level training platform for young pianists, a presenter of new and world-renowned
concert pianists and master teachers, an advocate for new piano music, and a vehicle
for exploring different roles the piano plays on stage and beyond.
Twenty of some of the best precollege pianists on the piano scene today take part
in a rigorous program that includes daily lessons with USC piano faculty, master classes
with guest artists and up to five hours of practice a day.
The week's events culminate with the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition,
adjudicated by a distinguished panel of judges. Winners of the competition receive
cash awards and the opportunity to perform with the South Carolina Philharmonic.
For music lovers, the Festival offers nightly concerts by a rich lineup of world-class
The Southeastern Piano Festival presents a perfect symbiosis of the new generation
of pianists in search of inspiration and challenge and the world-class guest artists
who provide that inspiration.
The attraction of the Festival lies in its versatility: whether you're a budding piano
virtuoso, an educator or a music aficionado, the Festival offers something for everyone
who loves piano.