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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, Artistic Director
Joseph Rackers, Program Director

2019 Festival dates

June 16–23, 2019


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.


The 2018 Lineup of Guest Artists

The 2018 Southeastern Piano Festival has a stellar lineup of guest artists you will not want to miss:

Charlie Albright

Charlie Albright

Winner of the 2011 Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts from Harvard University, Charlie Albright was also named Artist-in-Residence for Harvard University's Leverett House, a position last filled by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Lera Auerbach

Lera Auerbach

Russian-American composer and concert pianist Lera Auerbach is one of today’s most sought after and exciting creative voices, and has published more than 100 works for opera, ballet, orchestral and chamber music.

Simone Dinnerstein

Simone Dinnerstein

Simone Dinnerstein is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she was a student of Peter Serkin. She was a winner of the Astral Artist National Auditions, and has received the National Museum of Women in the Arts Award and the Classical Recording Foundation Award.

Rebecca Penneys

Rebecca Penneys

Rebecca Penneys has played throughout the USA, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Canada. She possesses a daredevil technique, a charismatic stage presence, and a rare gift for interpretation.

John Perry

John Perry

John Perry has won numerous awards including the highest prizes in both the Busoni and Viotti international piano competitions in Italy and special honors at the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris.

Antonio Pompa-Baldi

Antonio Pompa-Baldi

Antonio Pompa-Baldi appears regularly at the world's major concert venues including New York's Carnegie Hall, Paris' Salle Pleyel, Milan's Sala Verdi, Shanghai's Grand Theatre, and Boston's Symphony Hall.

Sasha Starcevich

Sasha Starcevich

Sasha Starcevich is currently enjoying a very rewarding career as an international performer and teacher. He has given recitals at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, Windsor Castle, and in London’s Wigmore Hall.

Ināra Zandmane

Ināra Zandmane

Now entering her seventh year as the second pianist for the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition concerto performances, Inara Zandmane was born in the capital of Latvia, Riga and started playing the piano at the age of six. She has been the staff accompanist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro since 2003, performing up to 50 recitals per year. Ms. Zandmane is frequently invited to serve as an official accompanist at national competitions and conferences.

The 2018 Evening Concerts

All tickets are $20 unless otherwise indicated; $5 student tickets at the door; 18 and under, free.

Sunday, June 17, 4:00 p.m.
Piano Extravaganza
Darla Moore School of Business - Johnson Performance Hall

The Southeastern Piano Festival opens with a traditionally sold-out Piano Extravaganza Gala, featuring multiple pianos, piano faculty, SEPF alumni and guests.

Monday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
Artist Showcase: Lera Auerbach
School of Music Recital Hall

Tuesday, June 19, 7:30 p.m.
Artist Showcase: Charlie Albright
School of Music Recital Hall

Wednesday, June 20, 4:30 p.m.
Alumni Showcase: Hugo Kitano and Aleksandra Kasman
School of Music Recital Hall

Wednesday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.
Artist Showcase: Antonio Pompa-Baldi
Trinity Episcopal Church

Thursday, June 21, 7:30 p.m.
Artist Showcase: Simone Dinnerstein
Darla Moore School of Business - Johnson Performance Hall

Saturday, June 23, 7:30 p.m.
Winners Recital
School of Music Recital Hall


Konzert Kidz

Konzert Kidz, a new initiative begun last summer, becomes a regular SEPF program and continues with concerts throughout the year. Designed to attract young audiences to concert halls, Konzert Kidz gives children life-long appreciation of the live music experience. More than 100 families signed up to participate in the event at last year’s Piano Fireworks concert, allowing children to come on stage and interact with the Steinway Grands after the festival’s opening concert. Learn more.