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USC Symphony Orchestra Opens Sept. 13 with “The Russian Romantics”

Marina Lomazov performs on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2

The USC Symphony Orchestra presents the first concert of Maestro Portnoy’s Farewell Season with Marina Lomazov performing on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor.

The concert takes place on Tuesday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia, SC). Preceding the concert at 6:45 p.m., Maestro Portnoy presents “Illuminations,” a pre-concert talk.

Praised by critics as “a diva of the piano” by The Salt Lake City Tribune, “a mesmerizing risk-taker” by The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, and “simply spectacular” by the Chicago International Music Foundation, Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov has established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today. Following prizes in the Cleveland International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Lomazov has given performances worldwide. She is the Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Piano at the University of South Carolina and a Steinway Artist.

Though now considered a significant achievement, the premiere of Rachmaninoff's first symphony was derided by contemporary critics. Compounded by personal problems, the composer fell into a depression that lasted several years. His second piano concerto, played on this concert, confirmed his recovery from clinical depression and writer's block, cured by a course of hypnotherapy. The concerto was dedicated to Nikolai Dahl, a physician who had done much to restore Rachmaninoff's self-confidence.

Also on the September concert is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The composer said about his work, “Never yet has any of my orchestral works cost me so much labour, but I’ve never yet felt such love for any of my things.…Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it seems to me that this symphony is better than anything I’ve done so far.” Such enthusiasm was unusual for Tchaikovsky, who typically expressed great dissatisfaction with his works. In this case, however, he evidently felt that he had exceeded even his own demanding standards.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) – Symphony No. 4 in F minor, op. 36
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) – Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, op. 18  (Marina Lomazov, piano)


Season subscriptions: Save with a season subscription (7 concerts) and enjoy the best seats in the house: $150
Discounts: $110 seniors, USC faculty and staff; $45 students.
Single concert tickets:  $30 general public; Discounts: $25 seniors, USC faculty and staff; $8 students.
Call 803-251-2222 or Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets (M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or online at

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