First Prize Winner, 2011 Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition
A native of Los Osos, California, and the First Prize Winner of the 2011 Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition, Pianist Zachary Hughes has been captivating audiences with his musical empathy and nobility of playing. He was an MTNA state winner in both Tennessee and South Carolina, and has been awarded top prize at the Lee University Piano Competition, Bristol Music Club Scholarship Competition, and Laurence Hamilton Morton Piano Competition among others.
Both as soloist and collaborator, Hughes regularly appears at a variety of venues, performing a diverse range of repertoire. In January 2011, he made his orchestral debut performing the Saint- Saens Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor with the Young Artist Orchestra of Greenville, SC led by Dr. Gary Robinson, and an upcoming performance with the South Carolina Philharmonic under Maestro Morihiko Nakahara is scheduled for the 2012-2013 season. He is also a former member of the award winning chamber group, "The Runaway Piano Trio", which earned its name after the piano began rolling across stage during a performance! Most recently, his collaboration with Violinist Sarah Peters and Cellist Jeff Millen in the Brahms Piano Trio No.2 in C Major was aired live on Kansas Public Radio.
Hughes’ early piano teachers included Rebecca Serven-Loomis and Ann Holler, and he later studied with Chih-long Hu at East Tennessee State University and Fabio Parrini at North Greenville University. In the fall of 2011, Hughes began his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance under the guidance of Jerome Lowenthal at The Juilliard School.
To say my time spent at the Southeastern Piano Festival was worthwhile and fun would be a gross understatement. Simply put, it was one of the most rewarding musical and personal experiences I had during high school, from the electrifying performances given by the faculty and guest artists, to the conversations and late night games with peers. All the events of the week were organized with complete professionalism, and the faculty and staff were very warm, taking a genuine interest in the students. The amount of recitals, masterclasses, lectures and more that were packed into one week was incredible, yet always with a balance between work and relaxation. But all things considered, undoubtedly the best thing about SEPF was the chance to spend time around other students who were every bit as passionate about music as myself. Despite the concerto competition that would cap the week, there was not the rivalry or pettiness so often seen at these events, but instead a camaraderie between the students and a desire for everyone to perform their best. I left having made many great memories and friends, and came away with a yet greater love of music. The Southeastern Piano Festival is a gem.