by Joshua Curry
From music critic Lindsay Koob:
An often overlooked Piccolo niche is the College of Charleston’s Young Artists Series, showing off the school’s array of student talent. Yesterday’s sparsely attended noon-hour event was a mixed blessing, featuring concertos by Mozart and Chopin, with a second pianist playing the orchestral parts. Both of the soloists are students of C of C’s longtime piano doyen Enrique Graf.
A tall young lady of striking appearance, Sakura Myers owns long, spidery fingers that can play anything well. Supported by visiting pianist Eric Clark, she offered two movements from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17. Too bad their performance suffered from insufficient preparation - it seems Clark didn’t get to Charleston until the day before, and they only had a few hours to rehearse together. Nothing frays a performer’s nerves like too little practice. A couple of memory slips and disconnects with her partner disturbed the music’s smooth flow - but when she was on, she was fine.
Enter 21-year-old Sean Kennard, one of three Americans who qualified last year for the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the world's most prestigious piano contest. Along with Clark, with whom he’s played often, he sparkled in Chopin’s famous Piano Concerto No. 2. He simply tore up the first movement - his luminous tone, lovely rubato and dead-on passagework were something special. Unfortunately, that's all I got to hear - the promise of a world premiere at Dock Street beckoned, and I had to duck out early. But what I got to hear it was enough to mark his appearance as a series highlight in my book - and we'll get to hear Kennard again in his solo recital on June 9.