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Tuning Up: Literally (spoiler: it’s about orchestras)

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

This morning we offer some news and notes from South Carolina orchestras. ICYMI: Three Mor-ihiko Years. The South Carolina Philharmonic announced a three-year contract extension for Music Director Morihiko Nakahara this week, keeping him in Columbia into (at least) 2022 for a total of (at least) 14 seasons. The Free Times caught up with the well-traveled maestro, who begins his 11th season, and the orchestra's 55th, Saturday, Sept. 29. Rock Hill Symphony debuts tomorrow night. Literally. As in, first-ever concert, not just new season. Pianist Marina Lomazov (an SCAC music performance fellowship recipient) is the featured soloist for the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto on Music Director David Rudge's premiere program, which also offers works by Berlioz, Rimsky-Korsakov, Smetana, and more. It is sold out (and has been), but check out the first season's offerings here. Season's greetings! Rock Hill joins 10 other professional orchestras in South Carolina. September and October are typically when orchestra season gets going. Here are start dates for others from around the Palmetto State: Did you have any idea South Carolina has so many orchestras? This doesn't even count the college and community orchestras. All 10 listed above will receive operating support (or more) from the S.C. Arts Commission in FY19.

Tuning Up: Vintage Mary Edna, SEPF + more

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

Vintage Mary Edna. South Carolina artist Mary Edna Fraser was a 1998/1999 S.C. Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow and is a recent (2016) winner of the Verner Award in the artist category. As you can probably tell by her website, she's also an entrepreneur (and received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from SCAC to that end). She's further proof that South Carolina artists and creatives are out there killing it every day. But here's something really cool: Tres Acres Vineyards of Argentina commissioned Mary Edna to make a batik for their label design. The wine is not yet available in the U.S. (sorry). How many people can lay claim to such an honor? Congrats (again), Mary Edna. Check out Family Ties, her new exhibition in Charleston "co-starring" her artist daughters Reba West Fraser and Labanna Babalon, starting Friday and running through July 29. Keys to Happiness. The piano event of the summer returns to Columbia June 17-23. Tickets are on sale now for all events at the 2018 Southeastern Piano Festival, led by Artistic Directors Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein is the headlining guest artist. Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery: Call for Art! The 3rd annual M&G Makers Market opened its application process yesterday to BJU grads, current or former students, or current or former faculty/staff members. M&G has 30 positions available for makers in the following categories: 2D Fine Art, 3D Fine Art, To Wear, Paper Goods, Fiber Art, and Everything Else. Submit your application through midnight on June 10. Learn more here. And, if you’re not a grad or an artist, the university invites everyone to consider attending M&G’s 3rd annual Makers Market on Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Congratulations to the new South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows!

The South Carolina Arts Commission Board has awarded FY2016 Individual Artist Fellowships to four South Carolina artists in the categories of  visual arts, craft, music: composition and music: performance. Each artist receives $5,000. This year's fellows (pictured above, left to right):

Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. Fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are based on artistic excellence only. The fellowship awards bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. The S.C. Arts Commission board approves fellowships based on recommendations made by out-of-state review panelists, who select fellows based solely on a review of anonymous work samples. This year's visual arts and craft judges were Alida Fish, photographer and professor emerita at the College of Art and Design, University of the Arts in Philadelphia; Christopher Schmidt, artist and director of the Schmidt-Dean Gallery in Philadelphia.; and Mi-Kyoung Lee, artist and associate professor of Crafts and head of Fibers at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The music composition and performance judges were Robert Tanner, composer and faculty member of the music department at Morehouse College in Atlanta; and Helen Kim, violinist, assistant concertmaster of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and faculty member at Kennesaw State University. Individual artists working in poetry, prose, dance choreography or dance performance may apply for the FY2017 fellowship awards. Applications open Aug. 3, 2015, and the deadline to apply is Nov. 2, 2015. For more information about S.C. Arts Commission programs and services, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Southeastern Conference honors USC pianist with Faculty Achievement Award

MarinaLomazovThe Southeastern Conference has named University of South Carolina pianist and professor of music Marina Lomazov a winner of a 2015 Faculty Achievement Award. The annual awards honor one faculty member from each SEC university who has excelled in teaching, research and scholarship. “I am very humbled to be recognized along with wonderful colleagues throughout the SEC,” said Lomazov, an internationally acclaimed concert pianist and the Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts in the School of Music. “USC has been an ideal place to grow as a teacher and scholar, and it is a privilege to be able to develop my career in an environment with such outstanding students, faculty and staff.” Each award winner will represent their university for the 2015 SEC Professor of the Year Award and will receive a $5,000 honorarium from the athletic conference. The SEC Professor of the Year, to be named later this month, receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be recognized at the SEC Awards Dinner in May and the SEC Symposium in September. “Professor Lomazov has long been recognized as a shining star at Carolina. Her performances draw large, adoring audiences everywhere she goes, said university president Harris Pastides. “It’s very satisfying to know that our world class athletic conference has recognized a world class pianist from USC.” Critics have said Lomazov is “a diva of the piano” (The Salt Lake City Tribune), and “a mesmerizing risk-taker” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland). She has been recognized as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today, earning prizes in the Cleveland International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. Lomazov has performed throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Most recently she’s performed extensively in China. She has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” Bravo television network and WNYC’s “Young Artist Showcase. Lomazov is the founder and artistic director of the Southeastern Piano Festival, which each summer transforms the University of South Carolina into a major cultural destination that draws audiences and young pianists from across the United States.

Southeastern Piano Festival brings Leon Fleisher to South Carolina’s capital city

Legendary pianist, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, is the special guest for 2014. Leon FleisherThe 2014 Southeastern Piano Festival kicks off June 15 for a week of concerts, master classes and lectures at the University of South Carolina. This year the festival is honored to present the legendary pianist Leon Fleisher who will present the Marian Stanley Tucker Guest Lecture and give several master classes during the annual weeklong festival. A recipient of numerous honors and awards, Fleisher received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in 2007 for his contribution to the culture of the United States and the world. Fleisher represents the highest standard of musicianship, and at age 85 he continues to impart his life-affirming artistry throughout the world, thriving in a sustained career as conductor and soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, and master class mentor. He began playing piano at the age of 4 and gave his first public recital at age 8. At age 9 he became the youngest-ever student of Artur Schnabel, continuing a pedagogical lineage that traces back to Beethoven. Fleisher made his formal public debut at age 16 with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Pierre Monteux, who famously recognized him as “the pianistic find of the century.” He became the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition in Brussels in 1952, placing him among the world's premier classical pianists. At the height of his success in 1965, Fleisher was struck with a neurological condition rendering two fingers on his right hand immobile. Rather than end his career, he focused on repertoire for the left hand only and established a new path as soloist, conductor and teacher. Not until 40 years later was he able to return to playing with both hands after undergoing experimental treatments. The extraordinary renaissance of Fleisher’s career has been documented extensively, particularly around the 2004 release of his critically acclaimed album “Two Hands,” which went on to hold a top 5 Billboard Chart position. Fleisher was the subject of the 2006 Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary film “Two Hands,” and his recent memoir, “My Nine Lives: A Memoir of Many Careers in Music,” which he co-wrote with Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, is published by Doubleday. In July 2013, Sony Classical released a 23-CD box set spanning the pianist's recording for Columbia/Epic and Sony Classical from 1954-2009. Leon Fleisher events are free and open to the public and take place at the USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly St.):

  • Tuesday, June 17, 4:30 p.m. Distinguished Artist Master Class Features participants of the Southeastern Piano Festival
  • Wednesday, June 18, 4:30 p.m. Distinguished Artist Master Class Featuring participants of the Southeastern Piano Festival
  • Thursday, June 19, 10 a.m. Distinguished Artist Master Class Featuring students studying with members of the SC Music Teachers Association.
  • Thursday, June 19, 4:30 p.m. Marian Stanley Tucker Guest Lecture “Piano Conversations” with Leon Fleisher
The only piano-focused festival in the region, the Southeastern Piano Festival (June 15–22, 2014) offers nightly concerts by outstanding faculty and guest artists along with lectures and a piano competition. The festival offers a rare opportunity to view the music-making process with all classes and the competition free and open to the public. View the complete schedule of events and concerts. Marina Lomazov, festival founder and artistic director, and festival program director Joseph Rackers, have performed around the world and each have won prizes in international piano competitions. They are International Steinway Artists. The Symphony League of the South Carolina Philharmonic sponsors the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. Sponsors of the 2014 Southeastern Piano Festival are Steinway & Sons, Rice Music House, Symphony League, South Carolina Philharmonic, University of South Carolina School of Music and Free Times. Via: Southeastern Piano Festival

Pianist Marina Lomazov in the spotlight with the USC Symphony Orchestra

A well-known piano concerto will be performed by a popular and dynamic pianist at the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra concert on Nov. 13. Marina Lomazov will perform the Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 16 by Edvard Grieg. This will be the first time Dr. Lomazov has performed the concerto in Columbia. The Piano Concerto is Grieg’s best-known work and among the most-performed piano concerti. The opening bars – a roar of tympani and dazzling piano entrance – are immediately recognizable even to a casual classical music listener. The Grieg concerto won international fame after its 1869 premiere. In 1909 it became the first piano concerto ever recorded, and portions of it have been used in everything from Nike commercials to the movies "Lolita" and "The Adventures of Milo and Otis." "The Grieg is a quintessential romantic concerto with broad emotional range and brilliant piano writing, combined with beautiful lyricism and atmosphere," said Dr. Lomazov, a Steinway Artist. "It is a virtuosic piece of music that requires endurance, pacing and wide range of sound and color. It's a thrill to perform a widely known piece of music; its beauty is the foundation of its universal appeal. Whether one hears it for the first or for the hundredth time, the work stands strong and fresh on its own." The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Tues., Nov. 13 at the Koger Center for the Arts. Tickets are $25; $20 for USC faculty and staff, seniors and military; and $8 for students. Call (803) 251-2222 or go to http://www.capitoltickets.com/ Check out this article in the Free Times for more about Dr. Lomazov, and visit the USC Symphony Orchestra's website for additional concert information. Via: USC Symphony Orchestra, Free Times