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2016 Southeastern Piano Festival kicks off in June

The 2016 Southeastern Piano Festival—the region’s only piano-focused arts event—begins Sunday, June 12 in Columbia, SC.  The weeklong festival kicks off at the University of South Carolina with the highly anticipated Piano Extravaganza Gala Concert, a performance that showcases eight pianists, four Steinway grand pianos and multimedia, including the cutting-edge Steinway Spirio piano, known as the world’s highest resolution player piano.  World-renowned artists follow throughout the week.

“It’s rare to have such a bright constellation of pianists in one city,” says Marina Lomazov, the festival’s artistic director.

2016 Guest Artists include Sergei Babayan, winner of the Queen Elisabeth and Hamamatsu International Competitions and soloist with orchestras worldwide, Ann Schein, a protégé of Arthur Rubinstein, whose remarkable career includes performing as soloist with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the duo of Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee, first and second prize winners in the Naumburg Competition and rising star artist Eric Lu, prizewinner in the Warsaw Chopin Competition and a Southeastern Piano Festival alumnus.

In addition to the concerts, 20 of the most gifted pre-college pianists from across the country participate in a rigorous program of lessons and masterclasses, as well as competing in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. The festival offers an insider’s view of the making of the next generation of pianists, says program director Joseph Rackers. “The level of young pianists keeps rising, and any one of them has the potential to go on to a career as a professional pianist.”

Throughout the week, traditional and unconventional venues host performances, transforming downtown Columbia into a destination for piano concerts. “From the Columbia Museum of Art and Trinity Cathedral to the Big Apple historical building, there are concerts throughout downtown and something for everyone,” says Lomazov.

Moderately priced tickets make attending multiple concerts possible. Masterclasses, discussions and competition performances are free. The Southeastern Piano Festival “Konzert Kidz” program allows all children under the age of 18 to attend any of the concerts for free. 

A complete list of festival events and tickets are available at

2016 Southeastern Piano Festival Concert Schedule

June 12, 4 p.m. Johnson Performance Hall, Darla Moore School of Business
Extravaganza Concert
Marina Lomazov, Joseph Rackers, Philip Bush, Charles Fugo and guest pianists featured on four Steinway Grand pianos
$20 general admission, $5 students, free 18 and under

June 13, 7:30 p.m. USC School of Music Recital Hall
Rising Star Artist Showcase: Eric Lu
$20 general admission, $5 students, free 18 and under

June 14, 4:30 p.m. Big Apple Building (1000 Hampton St.)
SEPF On the Road student participants concert, free

June 14, 7:30 p.m. Columbia Museum of Art (1515 Main St.)
Artist Showcase: Sergei Babayan
$20 general admission, $5 students, free 18 and under

June 15, 7:30 p.m. USC School of Music Recital Hall
Artist Showcase: Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank
$20 general admission, $5 students, free 18 and under

June 16, 7:30 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (1100 Sumter St.)
Artist Showcase: Ann Schein
$20 general admission, $5 students, free 18 and under

June 17, 10:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, USC School of Music Recital Hall
SEPF participants compete for the opportunity to perform with the South Carolina Philharmonic,  free

June 18, 7:30 p.m. USC School of Music Recital Hall
Winners of the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition
$10 general admission, $5 students, free 18 and under

Purchase tickets here.

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