South Carolina Philharmonic

News

October 20, 2010

Philharmonic ready for world premiere

The South Carolina Philharmonic’s first commissioned work since 2001 gets a high-profile world premiere Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. when piano duo Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers take to the Koger Center stage.

After being in the works for more than a year, Music Director Morihiko Nakahara and the SCP are set to perform the world premiere of the John Fitz Rogers Double Concerto during “Premieres & Variations,” the Nov. 13 Masterworks concert.

“Premieres & Variations” is sponsored by Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina.

The SCP received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in October 2009 to commission a new work by John Fitz Rogers, an internationally-recognized composer and assistant professor of composition at the USC School of Music. Fitz Rogers designed and wrote a new concerto for two pianos and orchestra with fellow faculty members Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers in mind.

Accompanying the Double Concerto on the evening’s program are Zoltan Kodaly’s The Peacock, a non-narrated version of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and a short piece to welcome the Society of Composers, Inc.’s national conference titled Voices from the Water by Kevin Walczyk.

Nakahara is joined by Hannah Horne of WIS for the popular pre-concert lecture Classical Conversations at 6:30 p.m. in the Koger Center auditorium, offering unique insight into the evening’s program free to all ticket-holders.

Available at www.capitoltickets.com, by phone at 803.251.2222 or at the Carolina Coliseum Box Office, premium concert tickets are $54, $44, $34, $26 and $18. A $1 per ticket Koger Restoration Fee applies. Student and military discounts are available. Southern Valet provides valet parking for $7.

New in the 2010/2011 season, the “Music for a Cause” program allows the SCP to help a diverse group of seven fellow non-profit organizations raise money and awareness for their causes. The partner for the Nov. 13 concert is Celebrate Freedom Foundation.

ABOUT CELEBRATE FREEDOM FOUNDATION

Our mission: To provide innovative educational outreach programs focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in the elementary, middle and high schools. To stimulate career choices and the development of critical skills necessary to maintain the U.S. technological advantage, which are essential to our national economy and America's freedom. For more information, visit http://www.celebratefreedomfoundation.org/.

ABOUT THE LOMAZOV/RACKERS DUO

The Lomazov/Rackers piano duo came to attention in 2005 as the second-prize winners of the 6th Biennial Ellis Duo Piano Competition, the only national competition for piano duo in the United States. Since that time, they have performed as recitalists and in concert with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, including performances on the "Summer Evenings in Kiev" concert series (Ukraine), Varna International master classes in Piano (Bulgaria) and Moulin d'Ande Arts Festival (France), in addition to appearances in Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Oregon and South Carolina.

As advocates for 20th and 21st-century music, the Lomazov/Rackers duo has given more than 20 performances of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring across the United States since 2006. Critics have written that the duo "...really lit up the audience... demonstrated that nearly 100 years after it was written, this modernist touchstone can still sound modern" (Free Times). In 2005, the duo gave the South Carolina premiere of Halleluiah Junction by John Adams and in 2008, they gave the world premiere of Ad Lucem (Toward the Light) by composer John Fitz Rogers. Their performances have been described as "splendid" (WXXI radio, Rochester, N.Y,), and a review of a recent performance of the Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra said simply, "The soloists? Amazing" (The State).

As a solo pianist, Marina Lomazov has performed throughout the United States as well as Europe, South America and the Far East. She has won prizes in the Bachauer, Cleveland, Hilton Head, Kapell and National Federation solo piano competitions and was the first pianist to be awarded the Artist Diploma at the Eastman School of Music in nearly two decades. Joseph Rackers has performed throughout the United States, Canada, China and Europe at important venues including the Shanghai and Sichuan Conservatories of Music (China), Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival (Germany) Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), Yantai International Music Festival (China) and in twenty states in the U.S. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Performer’s Certificate and Excellence in Teaching Prize from the Eastman School of Music.

Ms. Lomazov and Mr. Rackers both hold the doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music and both currently serve on the piano faculty at the USC School of Music. For more information, visit http://www.lomazovrackers.com/.

ABOUT JOHN FITZ ROGERS

Composer John Fitz Rogers's music has been performed around the world by leading ensembles, festivals, and venues such as Carnegie Hall, Bang on a Can Marathon, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Albany, Louisville, Charleston and Tulsa symphonies, New York Youth Symphony, Eastman Wind Ensemble, the MATA, Rockport, Bumbershoot, Bowling Green, and Keys To The Future festivals, the World Saxophone Congress, and by individuals and chamber ensembles such as Antares, New Century Saxophone Quartet, Lionheart, Composers, Inc., Opus Two, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Bent Frequency and the Ambassador Duo.

Rogers has received many commissions, fellowships, and awards, including those from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, American Music Center, Music at the Anthology and the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, National Flute Association, MacDowell Colony, South Carolina Arts Commission, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as the Heckscher Foundation International Composition Prize for his orchestral work Symphony of Cities.

A dedicated advocate for contemporary music, Rogers founded and is Artistic Director of the Southern Exposure New Music Series, which received the 2007 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.  He holds degrees in music from Cornell University, the Yale School of Music, and Oberlin College, and is currently an associate professor of composition at the University of South Carolina School of Music. For more information, visit http://www.johnfitzrogers.com/.

ABOUT THE NEA GRANT

Grants awarded to orchestras by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provide critical funding for projects that increase access to music in communities nationwide. The first FY10 NEA grant awards were announced on December 8, 2009 through the Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast Track Review and Access to Artistic Excellence grant categories. NEA funding both directly supports local projects and also spurs critical giving from other sources like private foundations, corporations and individual contributors.

Orchestras in 14 communities will provide performances, workshops, festivals and master classes with the support of $10,000 grants recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Challenge America grants will help orchestras bring the experience of the arts to underserved populations limited by geography, demographics, economics or disability.

Access to Artistic Excellence (Part One) grants totaling $1,471,500 will allow 52 distinct orchestra projects to provide educational activities, concerts, premieres, festivals, podcasts, radio broadcasts, orchestra tours, professional development and residencies in communities across the country.
Future FY10 grants will be announced in the categories of Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth and Access to Artistic Excellence Part Two.

MEDIA CONTACT

Jason Rapp, Communications Director
South Carolina Philharmonic
721 Lady Street, Suite B, Columbia SC 29201
(P) 803.771.7937   (F) 803.771.0268
E-Mail: JasonRapp@SCPhilharmonic.com

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