Grand Piano

the arthur fraser competition

The Symphony League initiated the Young Artist Competition in 1965 at the suggestion of Dr. Arthur Fraser, head of the USC School of Music from 1963-1972. Dr. Fraser was also the founding conductor and music director of the Columbia Festival Orchestra which later became the South Carolina Philharmonic. In 1999 the competition was renamed “The Arthur Fraser Concerto Competition” in memory of Dr. Fraser.

In 2002, Marina Lomazov became a part of the piano faculty at USC and within the next year became the Founder and Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival. A piano concerto competition was a vital part of the festival. As a result, during 2003, there were two concerto competitions happening in Columbia, a situation deemed counterproductive to both organizations.

In 2004, the Symphony League and the Southeastern Piano Festival joined forces to create The Arthur Fraser Piano Concerto Competition. This event was to be held on Friday of the festival week. The logistics of the competition would be under the aegis of the Southeastern Piano Festival. In 2008, the official title became The Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition.

The Symphony League contributes $5,000 annually to The Southeastern Piano Festival as a sponsor of the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. In addition, Symphony League provides the following: contents of the gift boxes which are presented to students, faculty, and guest artists; a reception following the Sunday afternoon opening concert; volunteers to help with monitoring the competition; a hospitality room for the competitors; and, an engraved plaque to the first place winner.

The 2019 winners of the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition are as follows:  First Prize —Jessica Zhang;  Second Prize  -- Caleb Borick;  Third Prize – Solomon Ge;  Young Jury – Caleb Borick;  Discretionary Awards --  Ben Hoang, Josephine Chou, and Shiv Yaznik;  Best Solo – Caleb Borick; and Best Contemporary Work – Shiv Yaznik.  The First Prize winner will perform a complete concerto with the South Carolina Philharmonic in a Masterworks Series concert during the 2020-2021 season.

USC’s School of Music Scholarships: Contingent upon acceptance to the University and the School of Music, all competition prizewinners will be offered USC music scholarships.

Arthur Fraser Winners-- June, 18, 2021

Young Jury
Solomon Ge
Discretionary Winners
Andrew Shi
Adrian Zaragoza
Malvyn Lai
Best Solo
Solomon Ge
Best Contemporary Work since 1990
Katherine Liu
Arthur Fraser Winners
Third Place—Andrew Gu
Second Place—Nathaniel Zhang
First Place—Solomon Ge