University of South Carolina

World-class talent to perform at piano festival

By Frenche Brewer,, 803-777-3691

A piano gala concert launches the University of South Carolina’s 11th annual Southeastern Piano Festival June 9 – 15. The extravaganza is hosted by the School of Music.

The festival’s opening performance is set for 6 p.m. in the School of Music recital hall, and will feature performances by Marina Lomazov, festival artistic director, Joseph Rackers, festival program director, and festival faculty members Charles Fugo and Phillip Bush

The weeklong event will welcome pianists from across the U.S. to Armenia to South Africa.

“We strive to bring the most talented and distinctive pianists in the world to the festival,” says Lomazov. “The festival has become more international each year, inviting the most celebrated concert artists.”

In addition to the concert series, the festival also hosts the Arthur Fraser

International Piano Competition, which includes daily lessons and master classes for the top pre-college piano students in attendance.

For the first time, the festival will hold one of its concerts at the Columbia

Museum of Art, with a performance by virtuoso pianist Sergei Babayan. The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, in the DuBose Poston Reception Hall in the museum.

A native of Armenia, Babayan studied at the Moscow Conservatory. He has been a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony and Detroit Symphony and winner of the Hamamatsu and Cleveland international piano competitions.  Since 2006 Babayan has performed regularly with conductor Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre and White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

“We are thrilled to partner with a leading cultural institution in the region for this important concert,” Lomazov says. “The Columbia Museum of Art has for 50 years been the center of art activity in Columbia, both in the visual and performing arts, and we are pleased to be part of that rich history.”

Festival concert schedule

June 9 -- 6 p.m. Piano fireworks concert and opening ceremony

June 10 --  7:30 p.m. Alumni concert featuring Micah McLaurin and Naomi Causby,

2010 Fraser Competition co-winners

June 11 -- 7:30 p.m. Rising star concert featuring Claire Huangci

June 12 -- 7:30 p.m. Petronel Malan

June 13 -- 7:30 p.m. Sergei Babayan, Columbia Museum of Art

June 14 -- 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition

June 15 -- 7 p.m. Fraser Competition winners concert

All concerts are held in the USC School of Music recital hall, unless otherwise noted.

The Arthur Fraser competition and winner’s concerts are free and open to the public.

Ticket prices for June 9, 11 and 12 concerts are $20 for general public, $10 for USC faculty, staff and military; June 13 tickets are $30 for general public and $20 for USC faculty, staff and military; June 10 concert tickets are $5. Student tickets for all festival events are $5, and all concerts are free to those under 18. 

To purchase tickets, call the Capitol Tickets box office at 803-251-2222 or online, www.capitoltickets .com. For more information about the festival, go to


Posted: 06/07/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 06/07/13 @ 2:54 PM | Permalink



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