The 15th Southeastern Piano Festival is opening in a big way Sunday.
Fifteen pianists, one for each year of the festival, will use five pianos during Sunday’s opening Piano Gala Extravaganza at the Koger Center for the Arts. The concert includes music from Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” on one of five Steinway pianos. For the first time, the festival will feature a choral group, Miami-based Firebird Singers, performing Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” for choir, two pianos and percussion with Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers.
The piano performance starts at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $5 for students and free for children under 18.
Sunday’s event kicks off a week of world-renowned artists in piano performances, most at the University of South Carolina’s School of Music.
Festival guest artists include Anderson and Roe, Billboard-chart topping duo who have been featured on MTV, NPR and by millions of viewers on YouTube; Vadim Kholodenko, gold medalist of the XIV Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; Frederic Chiu, who is described by the New York Times as a “maverick pianist” and has released more than 25 recordings; and Boris Slutsky, chair of the piano department at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. The artists will hold master classes each day that are free and open to the public. Concerts featuring guest artists will take place each evening.
During the week, 20 pianists ages 13-18 from around the United States and Canada will be on campus attending the master classes each day with the guest artists. At the end of the week, they will compete for $9,000 in cash prizes and a performance as soloist with the S.C. Philharmonic during the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, which will be held from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Friday in the School of Music Recital Hall. The competition is free and open to the public.
The festival ends with a concert featuring the prize winners of the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the School of Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $5 for students and free for children under 18.
See a schedule at http://southeasternpianofestival.com.