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School of Music

  • Extravaganza Concert

Southeastern Piano Festival

The Southeastern Piano Festival transforms the University of South Carolina School of Music and Columbia into a major cultural destination that draws in audiences and young piano talent from across the United States.

Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers, artistic directors

Due to health concerns raised by the spread of COVID-19, all face-to-face lessons, classes, rehearsals and events are cancelled. The School of Music has cancelled, adapted to online, or rescheduled public events, performances, in-person classes, labs and camps through August 1.


It is with sadness that we announce the 2020 Southeastern Piano Festival is cancelled due to ongoing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus, as well as the University of South Carolina decision to cancel all public events and in-person instruction until at least August 1.

We are, however, thrilled to announce that the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition will continue in a revised format. Our top priority remains to educate, promote and present the next generation of musical artistry and it is in this spirit that the competition will continue with a recorded round in June and a live round later this year. Prizes in the competition will remain the same, including the unique opportunity for the winner to perform a concerto with the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. We look forward to hosting the finalists this Fall!

The 2020 Festival

It is with sadness that we announce the 2020 Southeastern Piano Festival is cancelled due to ongoing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus, as well as the University of South Carolina decision to cancel all public events and in-person instruction until at least August 1.

We are, however, thrilled to announce that the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition will continue in a revised format. Our top priority remains to educate, promote and present the next generation of musical artistry and it is in this spirit that the competition will continue with a recorded round in June and a live round later this year. Prizes in the competition will remain the same, including the unique opportunity for the winner to perform a concerto with the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. We look forward to hosting the finalists this Fall!


See the lineup of guest artists and concerts here.


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 pianists.

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.

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.


Konzert Kidz

KonZert KidZ, an initiative begun in summer of 2016, became a full-fledged movement with more than 300 children and adults attending concerts at the Southeastern Piano Festival, with free tickets for  kids and reduced ticket prices for adults. Designed to attract young audiences to concert halls, KonZert KidZ gives children the foundation for a life-long appreciation of the concert experience. Learn more.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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