The Festival has really become a symbiosis of new generation of pianists in search of inspiration and challenge and world-class guest artists who provide that inspiration. -- Marina Lomazov
Along with its stellar concert series, the Festival also trains 20 outstanding young pianists who participate in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. Most concerts and the competition are held at the University of South Carolina School of Music.
The Festival opens Sunday, June 9 with the “Piano Fireworks Concert” with performances by Marina Lomazov, Festival Program Director Joseph Rackers, Festival faculty members Charles Fugo, Phillip Bush and others. Micah McLaurin and Naomi Causby, co-winners of the 2010 Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, will give a concert Monday, June 10.
The festival will also present piano virtuoso Sergei Babayan at the Columbia Museum of Art. Babayan, a native of Armenia, studied at the Moscow Conservatory and early in his career won first-place awards in several international piano competitions. He has been soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony and Detroit Symphony. June 13.
Only 21, Claire Huangci has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Symphony and at the Ravinia Festival and the Caramoor Festival. She won First Prize in the Europäischer Chopin Klavierwettbewerb, the Orpheum Music Prize and the National Chopin Piano Competition. June 12.
The Festival will also welcome Keng Zhou, Artistic Director of the International Piano Festival of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Executive Deputy Director of the International Piano Academy, and Head of Piano Department at Shenzhen Arts School and judge at the International Nikolay Rubinstein Competition and Shanghai International Piano Competition. He will present the Marian Stanley Tucker Lecture.
Guest artists will work with the students who are admitted to the Festival through a rigorous selection process. Master classes are open to the public as is the day-long Fraser Competition (June 14.) Winners of the competition will give the closing concert for the Festival June 15. Along with a cash award the winners have the opportunity to perform with the South Carolina Philharmonic.