News from the Southeastern Piano Festival

Our friend and frequent contributor, Jeffrey Day, is something of a classical music freak.  So when he tells us something is good - Jasper listens. Jeffrey just shared this coup with us so we thought we'd turn around and send it out to you. He's talking about another amazing performer that Marina Lomazov has brought to the Southeastern Piano Festival, currently going on at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia.


Here’s what they’re saying about Alessio Bax who will perform at the Southeastern Piano Festival Thursday night: With an electrifying technique, the 33-year-old Italian pianist delivered riveting performances of Brahms, Enescu and Bartok. It was a wonderful musical event, one which left many audience members shaking their heads in astonishment.

His program unfolded with an ease, precision and beauty so seemingly effortless that the music appeared to live and breathe of its own volition.

… has both the nimble fingers and the easy charm required to give the concerto a marvelous outing.

…dispatching the breakneck runs with a smooth, clean, silvery tone.

These are a few recent praises showered on Mr. Bax, winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, one of the most prestigious awards in classical music. During the past 12 months, Mr. Bax has performed on opening night of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's season, with the Dallas Symphony and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and orchestras in London, Bilbao, and Mexico City and in recital from Hong Kong to Iceland. He has also also performed in recent years with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Rome Symphony and as a chamber musician he has collaborated with Joshua Bell, Emmanuel Ax and Anne-Marie McDermott. For his Piano Festival concert he will perform Brahms’ Ballades, Op. 10; Liebesleid and Liebesfreud by Fritz Kreisler, Five Preludes by Sergei Rachmaninoff, closing with Après une lecture de Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata by Franz Liszt. This is a concert you will not want to miss. Be at the USC School of Music Recital Hall at 7:30 Thursday, April 14. For tickets call 803-576-5763 or email


You can watch his performances at


Southeastern Piano Festival kicks off 10th anniversary with big concert at the Koger Center


If you love the piano, have we got a week for you.

The Southeastern Piano Festival kicks off its 10th year with a Piano Extravaganza concert featuring 16 pianist, five pianos and the S.C. Philharmonic on June 10 at the Koger Center for the Arts. The festival runs through June 16 with concerts by well-known and up-and-coming musicians.

“The festival has been a success on so many levels and we’re thrilled to be celebrating our first decade,” said Marina Lomazov, Festival Artistic Director. “The festival continues to provide top-flight training for young musicians, but has also grown to be one of the most significant showcases of piano music.”

Dr. Lomazov will perform at the Piano Extravaganza along with fellow USC piano faculty Joseph Rackers and  Charles Fugo, guest pianist Phillip Bush, a dozen past winners of Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition, and the S.C. Philharmonic conducted by Music Director Morihiko Nakahara.  The concert includes works by Mozart, Bach and Wagner and five pianists performing movements from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst on five Steinway concert grand pianos. The concert will close with Lomazov and Rackers playing the Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor by Francis Poulenc.

The festival blends a week of exciting concerts with a training program for 19 young pianists from around the country and one from Australia who take part in the Fraser Competition. Those who want to see some of tomorrow’s great pianists today can watch the competition from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 15. Competition winners will give the closing concert June 16.

Among the other highlights of the week are performances by Boris Slutsky, first prize winner of the Kapell International Piano Competition and chair of the piano department at the Peabody Institute, playing the music of Ravel, Chopin and Schuman on June 13 and Alessio Bax, recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, performing Rachmaninoff and Liszt pieces on June 14.

Students attending the festival will give an afternoon concert at the Columbia Museum of Art June 12. A number of young pianists will be in the spotlight including past winners of the Fraser Competition Leo Svirsky and Sean Yeh performing June 11 and George Li, the 15-year-old winner of the Gilmore Young Artist Award, playing June 12.

Admission to the Piano Extravaganza is $25 for VIP seating and $15 general admission, $10 for seniors, students, military, USC faculty and staff and free for those under 18. Tickets are available through or by calling (803) 251-2222.

The other concerts will be held at the USC School of Music Recital Hall. Admission is $20; $10 for seniors, USC faculty and staff, students and military and free to everyone under  18.  For tickets call (803) 576-5763 or email

The Svirsky and Yeh concert is $5.

The competition concert is free.

For a complete schedule and more information about tickets, concerts, guest artists and participants visit the Piano Festival website

Concert lineup for the Southeastern Piano Festival (unless otherwise noted concerts are at the USC School of Music Recital Hall, Assembly and College streets.)

Sunday, June 10, 4 p.m. Piano Extravaganza concert.

Monday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. Alumni Celebration Concert with Leo Svirsky and Sean Yeh.

Tuesday, June 12, 1:30 – 3 p.m. Southeastern Piano Festival on the Road. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St.

Tuesday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. George Li.

Wednesday, June 13, 7:30 p.m. Boris Slutsky.

Thursday, June 14, 7:30 p.m. Alessio Bax.

Friday, June 15, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition.

Saturday, June 16, 7 p.m. Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition Winners' Concert and Closing Ceremony.