NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR
Nick Luby is an artist committed to presenting vivid, authentic, and relevant performances of the classical canon to a wide audience. He has been the First Prize winner of the Dr. Sharyn Edwards Piano Competition, the Loren Withers Piano Competition, the Old Dominion Classical Competition, and the Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Piano Competition. Mr. Luby's recordings have been broadcast on South Carolina Public Radio, and he was featured as a guest artist at the Exploring Chamber Music Festival at the University of Northern Iowa.
Nick has performed in masterclasses for world renowned artists William Bolcom, Nelita True, Ivan Moravec, Martin Katz, and Lambert Orkis. He has participated in numerous festivals throughout the U.S. and in Italy and the Czech Republic, where he studied with Vladimir Feltsman, Boris Slutsky, Logan Skelton, Alexander Korsantia, and James Giles, among others.
A Chapel Hill native, Nick holds the Graduate Certificate in Performance from the University of South Carolina, an MM in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, and a BA with honors in Music and a double major in Philosophy from Wesleyan University. His primary teachers include Arthur Greene, Marina Lomazov, Francis Whang, and Margaret O'Brien.
SUSAN ZHANG, CO-DIRECTOR
Acclaimed as a pianist with "astounding musical authority" (Columbia Free Times), Susan Zhang made her orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Augusta Symphony. She has since been featured as a soloist with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the University of South Carolina Symphony, and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has performed in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and Woodruff Arts Center as well as numerous other venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. Her recordings have been featured on SC Public Radio.
Susan was a prizewinner of the Thousand Islands Chopin Competition, the Bauru-Atlanta Competition, the Burgos International Music Festival Competition, the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, South Carolina MTNA Young Artist Competition, and the University of South Carolina Concerto Competition. Her summer festival appearances include Pianofest in the Hamptons, the Banff Piano Master Class, Burgos International Music Festival, the Southeastern Piano Festival, and Brevard Music Center.
Susan is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of South Carolina. Her primary teachers have included Marina Lomazov, Joseph Rackers, and Enrico Elisi. She currently studies at the Peabody Conservatory with Boris Slutsky.
SCOTT BURKHOLDER, BUSINESS MANAGER
Scott is founder of SGB Talent Agency, a Baltimore based firm that builds infrastructure for artists to live sustainable, fulfilling lives and audiences to engage in perspective-challenging experiences. He is also the Executive Director of The Baltimore Love Project and has extensive experience coaching and managing artists.
Alex Davis is a composer and recording engineer. He founded Wentworth Studios, a recording business in Greenville, SC, and has produced for artists and organizations such as The Southeastern Piano Festival, The South Carolina Philharmonic, Riot Scene Pictures, The University of South Carolina, Camp Joy SC, Classical American Homes, MennoMedia, Brethren Press, and Leaders’ Imago. Previously he served as A/V Media Specialist at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church.
A prolific composer and singer-songwriter, Alex has scored five short films, written two children's musicals, and composes all original music for his two regularly touring bands, Passing Worth (indie/jazz/soul/pop) and Miles to Go (prog-rock). He also tours often as a solo artist and has released several albums. His compositions have premiered in the United States and Italy.
Alex grew up in a musical household and began writing songs at the piano while in high school. He received a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the University of South Carolina and was mentored by Jeff Francis in the study of recording engineering.
Robert Woodhurst contributes an overarching design logic, with astute attention to detail, along with a spirited repartee.
Hailing from an architectural family, Robert developed an early understanding of architecture both as art and science in addition to the ways in which thoughtful and inspiring design serve the community. While attending a fine arts magnet high school, Robert studied scenery design and construction, fostering an appreciation for design and the physical process of making, as well as creating environments in which scenes might unfold. Like art installations and architecture, such designs evoke moods and, through production integration, greatly enhance the work or environment as a whole. A recent graduate of Georgia Tech’s mArch program, Robert is interested in Architecture’s role in city-building, specifically urban-infill and adaptive reuse.
Robert has worked backstage for professional opera performances as well as in the capacities of land surveyor, carpenter’s apprentice, life guard, and intern Architect. He has been a part of the design team on higher-ed, K-12, ecclesiastical, judicial, mixed-use, municipal, recreational and urban design projects.
SONYA SCHUMANN, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (SUMMER '17)
Sonya Schumann is an expressive and imaginative pianist, both in solo and collaborative performance. She has performed with orchestras across North America, and holds top prizes in many competitions, including the Bartok-Kabelevsky-Prokofiev Competition, Williamsburg Symphony Concerto Competition, South Carolina Music Teachers Association Competition and Southeastern Piano Festival. Sonya has given performances throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. Most recently, she has been invited to perform at Oberlin Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory, and the Kennedy Center.
Sonya has participated in the Southeastern Piano Festival, Ameropa Chamber Music Festival at Prague Conservatory, Indiana University Piano Academy, and the Burgos Music Festival in Spain. Sonya is also internationally recognized for her involvement in Piano Theatre, an interactive experience of music and words. She and her sister, Elizabeth, perform as the Schumann Duo, promoting classical music for children in areas where arts programs and funding have been cut. The Schumann Duo’s incredibly popular concert “Pianimal” was recently the feature in a documentary for the Gilmore for Kids Series. Active in the artistic community, Sonya also serves as an ambassador for the Performing Arts Consortium, performing benefit concerts and giving masterclasses across the East Coast.
In addition to performing, Sonya is passionate about teaching. She has appeared as a guest lecturer and masterclass presenter at several festivals and colleges, including Keys Fest, Music Teachers National Association, Central Michigan University, Red Rocks Music Festival, and Art at Noon at LexArts. She has served as faculty at Madonna University and Schoolcraft College. She currently serves on faculty and is Chair of Group Piano at the Levine School in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Schumann has a bachelor of music from the University of South Carolina, where she studied with Marina Lomazov. She received a masters and a doctorate from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Logan Skelton and Christopher Harding.
Gabrielle Guthrie is a student in her senior year at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a dual degree in English and Piano Performance.
Guthrie is currently working as a Research and Communications intern for development company, the Platform, LLC, located in the Fisher Building in Detroit. She also works as a Public Relations and Communications Representative at inFORM studio, a Northville-based architecture firm, and as Social Media Strategist for The Concert Truck. Guthrie last worked as an editorial contributor for DBusiness magazine, a Detroit-based business magazine under Hour Media.
Guthrie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Vine and Branches Home Educators in 2014. In that same year, Guthrie earned State Winner and Solo Recitalist in South Carolina Piano Festival Association Competition and South Carolina Music Teachers Association Piano Competition, in addition to the past 3 consecutive years. In 2015, Guthrie was hired as an editor for the published science fiction novel, Vitrium. Guthrie placed third in the national Dr. Sharyn Edwards Piano Festival and Competition for the collegiate and graduate levels in March of 2017.
During her spring break in 2016, Guthrie volunteered at The Well Coffeehouse in Boston, Ma., as a Social Media Strategist.