SEPF Guest Artists Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers

Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers

Marina Lomazov

Praised by critics as “a diva of the piano” (The Salt Lake City Tribune), “a mesmerizing risk-taker” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), and “simply spectacular” (Chicago International Music Foundation) Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov has established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today. Following prizes in the Cleveland International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Ms. Lomazov has given performances throughout North America, South America, China, South Korea, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Japan and in nearly all of the fifty states in the U.S.

Marina Lomazov has given major debuts in New York (Weill-Carnegie Hall) Boston (Symphony Hall), Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Concert Series), Los Angeles (Museum of Art), Shanghai (City Theater) and Kiev (Kiev International Music Festival). She has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Eastman Philharmonia, Chernigov Philharmonic (Ukraine), KUG Orchester Graz (Austria), Bollington Festival Orchestra (England), Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra and ten performances with the South Carolina Philharmonic, to name a few. New York Times chief music critic Anthony Tommasini describes a recent New York performance as “dazzling” and Talk Magazine Shanghai describes her performances as “a dramatic blend of boldness and wit”. Marina Lomazov is a Steinway Artist.

In recent seasons, Lomazov has performed extensively in China, including concerts in Shenyang, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Qingdao and Yingkou. She is a frequent guest at music festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including Hamamatsu, Chautauqua, Brevard, Miami, Seoul, Art of the Piano, Burgos (Spain), Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany) and Varna (Bulgaria), among others. She has recorded for the Albany, Centaur and Innova labels and American Record Guide praised her recent recording of piano works by Rodion Shchedrin for its “breathtaking virtuosity”. She has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, the “Bravo” cable channel and WNYC’s “Young Artist Showcase” and her recordings have been broadcast more than 100 times by WNYC and WQXR in New York, WFMT in Chicago and WBGH in Boston.

Before immigrating to the United States in 1990, Marina studied at the Kiev Conservatory where she became the youngest First Prize Winner at the all-Kiev Piano Competition. Ms. Lomazov holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, the latter bestowing upon her the highly coveted Artist’s Certificate – an honor the institution had not given a pianist for nearly two decades. Her principal teachers include Natalya Antonova, Jerome Lowenthal and Barry Snyder. Also active as a chamber musician, Lomazov has performed widely as a member of the Lomazov/Rackers Piano Duo. Praised for “demon precision and complete dedication” (Audio Society), The duo garnered significant attention as Second Prize winners at the Sixth Biennial Ellis Competition for Duo Pianists (2005), the only national duo piano competition in the United States at that time. As advocates of modern repertoire for duo piano, they have given premieres of numerous works across the United States, including several works written specifically for them.

Ms. Lomazov is a Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music. She has served as jury member for the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Eastman International Piano Competition, Minnesota International Piano e-Competition, National Federation Biennial Young Artist Auditions and is the chair of the National Panel for the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts, the organization that nominates Presidential Scholars in the arts. For 17 years she served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Music, where she held the chair of Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts Music and where she is currently a Visiting Guest Artist. Together with her husband and piano duo partner Joseph Rackers, she co-founded and served as Co-Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, SC. Lomazov is a Steinway Artist.

Joseph Rackers

Joseph Rackers is Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music, Co-founder of the Southeastern Piano Festival and Artistic Director of the Vivace Music Foundation. He has performed for enthusiastic audiences in New York, Boston, Chicago, Kiev, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Seoul and Washington D.C., at venues across Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Bulgaria, Ukraine and extensively throughout the United States. His performances around the world include the Shanghai and Sichuan Conservatories of Music, Kiev International Music Festival, Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, Seoul International Piano Festival, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series and Banff Centre for the Arts and American Liszt Society, to name a few, in addition to recitals in most of the fifty states in the U.S.

Joseph Rackers is an International Steinway Artist. His recordings as soloist, collaborative pianist and producer are available on MSR Classics, Navona, Centaur, Equilibrium, Beauport Classics and Steinway Spirio and his performances have been broadcast on radio and television across the United States, Asia and Europe. His recent solo release with MSR Classics was widely recognized by the press; “Unflappable virtuosity…highly expressive…committed to letting the composer’s voice—as he hears it—come through” (American Record Guide), “compelling power, rhythmic persuasiveness…consummate style…complete mastery” (Audio Society).

A devoted teacher, Rackers students have earned awards in dozens of national and international piano competitions, including the Leipzig Bach International Piano Competition, Concours International de Piano d’Orléans, National Winner of the MTNA National Competition, Minnesota International, Seattle, National Society of Arts and Letters, Steinway and numerous others. He has given performances and masterclasses at Indiana University, University of Michigan, Boston University, Cincinnati, UCLA, UNLV, Vanderbilt, and at conservatories and music festivals across Europe and Asia. He has recently served as Schwartz Artist in Residence at Emory University and as faculty or guest artist at the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival, Chicago International Music Institute, Seoul International Piano Festival, Perugia International Music Festival, Yantai International Music Festival, Southeastern Piano Festival, Texas State International Piano Festival and as a National Reviewer for the National YoungArts Foundation. His students have performed for venues including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Minnesota Orchestra, Aspen and Cliburn music festivals, From the Top on NPR and Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theater.

Also active as a chamber musician, Rackers has performed widely as a member of the Lomazov/Rackers Piano Duo. Praised for “demon precision and complete dedication” (Audio Society), the duo garnered significant attention as the Second Prize Winners of the Sixth Ellis Competition for Duo Pianists, the only national duo piano competition in the United States at that time. Gramophone praises the duo for “assured and centered pianism” and American Record Guide writes “the ensemble between Lomazov and Rackers is dead-on”. Rackers earned the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees at the Eastman School of Music, where he was also awarded the Performer’s Certificate. His principal teachers were Raymond Herbert and Natalya Antonova with additional study or masterclasses with Julian Martin, Misha Dichter and Blanca Uribe, among others. He has given presentations and performances for conferences of the Music Teachers National Association and College Music Society and has been honored by the South Carolina House of Representatives and South Carolina State Senate for his personal contribution to the arts and leadership of the Southeastern Piano Festival.