The Southeastern Piano Festival kicks off today with a concert featuring legendary pianos … and some exceptional pianists playing them in unique arrangements.
The Piano Fireworks Gala Concert will feature the Steinway Living Legends Concert Artists Pianos – instruments that have been played in concert by the likes of Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Harry Connick Jr., Billy Joel, Keith Jarrett and Diana Krall to name a few.
Pianists Marina Lomazov, Joseph Rackers, Phillip Bush, Charles Fugo and some guest musicians will perform solos, duos and quartet versions of wide variety of music, from Beethoven and Dvorak to a four-piano version of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”
“The pianos are so exceptional, it’s a real treat to be able to play them,” Rackers said.
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The gala concert begins at 4 p.m. in the Johnson Performance Hall at the Darla Moore School of Business, 1014 Greene St. on the USC campus. Tickets are $20 general admission, $5 for students, and free for youths age 18 and under.
The Piano Festival is also offering a Konzert Kidz program in which participants can come up to the stage for a close-up look at the pianos, and receive a certificate showing they played on a Living Legend piano. Tickets for those interested in the Konzert Kidz program must be reserved online in advance (http://sepf.music.sc.edu/concerts/piano-extravaganza2015.php#program), and adults can receive a half-price ticket when bringing two children, and a free ticket when bringing three children.
The gala concert is the first in a weeklong series of piano performances, competitions and lectures that will be held throughout Columbia at a variety of venues including churches, art galleries and concert halls of various sizes.
“One of our goals is to bring piano music to as many people as possible,” Rackers said. “These venues allow us to perform for a different audience than we would typically get if all the concerts were at the recital hall.”
For a full schedule with ticket prices, visit www.southeasternpianofestival.com.
Bridget Winston, Special to The State