Each summer 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. The Southeastern Piano Festival embraces a multi-faceted personality: it is a high-level training platform for the 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.
Piano X is a new initiative that aims to explore and showcase new voices, new formats, and the new direction the piano can take as a solo and collaborative instrument in today’s live music scene. Headlined by Conrad Tao, who will perform an evening recital on Monday, June 17, the initiative will also include presentations, workshops, and open panel discussions by David Cutler, a composer, pianist, author and a leading figure in the bourgeoning field of music entrepreneurship, Leo Svirsky, past winner of the festival and a pianist and composer with a unique and innovative voice, and Susan Zhang, also past winner of the festival, who together with her partner, Nick Luby, co-founded “The Concert Truck”, a mobile venue for classical music. “This new endeavor has been in the development for several years,” says Artistic Director Marina Lomazov. The ‘X’ in Piano X stands for ‘unknown factor’, the elusive “it” in the art of performance, and it also stands for exploration, experimentation, and excitement. The festival is eager to showcase and support those who find new paths or see the familiar through a different lens.