Sean Kennard has won top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), the International Music Competition of Viña del Mar (Chile), the Vendome International Piano Competition (Portugal), the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), the National Chopin Competition, the Iowa Piano Competition, the American Pianists Association, and the International Chopin Competition of the Pacific.
The Washington Post praised Kennard’s “powerful and involved music making,” describing him as “a strong luminous pianist.” His 2011 debut album received a rave review in American Record Guide, which pronounced it “a hidden gem,” attesting to its “perfect blend of lyricism and romantic passion,” “huge romantic sound, and bold melodic vision.” It proclaimed that he “plays the dickens out of the Stravinsky [Three Movements from Petrushka]” and “plays Chopin’s Preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them.” Fanfare affirmed the enthusiastic reception, naming the album “a very desirable disc” and citing “Kennard’s mastery of Chopin’s idiom,” its “impression of complete effortlessness” and “emotional responsiveness.” The review characterized his playing as “full of life and sparkle,” summing up: “while I wouldn’t necessarily say that Kennard outclasses Ashkenazy, Rubinstein, Moravec, Ohlsson…in this repertoire, he surely equals them.”
THE DAVID MARSHALL AND CATHERINE KOGER BURNS MEMORIAL RECITAL SERIES:
David Marshall Burns, Jr., and Catherine Koger Burns, natives of Charleston, South Carolina, were married and moved to Florence in 1933 where they became actively involved in civic activities and the arts. The Bums Recital Series was established in 1989 by Catherine Burns in memory of her husband and, upon her death in 1995, the Series was renamed the David Marshall and Catherine Koger Burns Memorial Recital Series.
Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.