South Carolina Philharmonic


December 16, 2009

SCP award $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant

Orchestra uses grant to commission rare two-piano concerto.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Philharmonic is to commission, premiere and lead a nationwide consortium for the performance of a two-piano concerto thanks to a $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Composer John Fitz Rogers, a composition professor at the USC School of Music, is writing a concerto for two pianos and orchestra designed for fellow faculty members Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers to play with the orchestra. The SCP is to perform the world premiere of the concerto during the Nov. 13, 2010 Masterworks concert at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia.

The orchestra is searching for other orchestras to join a consortium that would debut the work in communities nationwide.

With Fitz Rogers, Lomazov and Rackers being educators, a strong college-level educational outreach component will take composition and piano master classes to area colleges and universities as well as those in communities where the work is commissioned.

Aside from widely-known concertos by composers Mozart and Poulenc, there are few existing works featuring piano duos with orchestras. The SCP expects the commissioned concerto to be paired with either the Mozart or Poulenc on the October 2010 program. A specific date is expected to be finalized shortly into the new year.

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 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.

About the SCP: An independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, the South Carolina Philharmonic has performed and promoted high-quality, professional symphonic music for 46 years, serving the community’s needs for cultural development and education, entertainment and tourism. The introduction of Music Director Morihiko Nakahara in 2008/2009 ushered in a New Era of Artistic Excellence that is allowing the orchestra to move forward and become the Midlands pre-eminent performing arts group.


Jason Rapp, Communications Director
South Carolina Philharmonic
721 Lady Street, Suite B, Columbia SC 29201
(P) 803.771.7937   (F) 803.771.0268

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