Pianist and keyboardist Sophia Subbayya Vastek, described as playing with "passion and profound tenderness” (Second Inversion) and with “serene strokes and lyrical beauty” (Brooklyn Rail) maintains an active career as a performer, educator, interdisciplinary collaborator, and event producer. She revels in the tiniest moments of beauty and joy, and seeks to surprise herself and audiences with connections both odd and common. She is interested in music that is unexpected, music that speaks, music that astonishes and confounds, music that binds, and music that heals.
Sophia’s debut album “Histories” was released on innova Recordings with music by Michael Harrison, Donnacha Dennehy, and John Cage. It was produced by multiple Grammy-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse and features tabla player Nitin Mitta, vocalist Megan Schubert, and Michael Harrison on tanpura. Of the album, Second Inversion writes, "The result is both an homage to Vastek’s own individual histories but also a beautiful mosaic of the larger cultural intersections of our world—and how we weave those histories together through music."
Sophia is one half of Tilted Arc, a synth and piano-based electronic duo with Sam Torres. Together, they create, perform, and produce music and installations. They recently released “Ghost in the Square”, a 2-track single. Sophia and Sam also co-direct Organ Colossal, a musicians’ collective based in their hometown of Troy, NY. In this endeavor, they are committed to producing concerts that are safe and available to any musician who wishes to perform.
Sophia maintains an ongoing relationship as a visiting artist with Arts Letters & Numbers, a nonprofit in upstate New York dedicated to creating creative exchanges across a wide range of disciplines. There, she has co-directed creative music workshops and aided in the development of musical programming and music inclusion within the larger workshops and structures.
Performing has taken Sophia to South Africa, Mexico, France, and around the United States, including at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the United States State Department, The Apollo Theatre (NYC), The Linda (Albany), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and National Sawdust. She has also been presented at The NoiseGate Festival, Queens New Music Festival, Artscape, and Arts Letters & Numbers.
Sophia is indebted to her teachers, colleagues, collaborators, and friends who continue to teach her how to ask questions and truly listen.
Sophia is based in Troy, NY and is on the music faculty at College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.
Sophia goes through life with her partner Sam and their three-legged cat, MagnifiCAT. She loves lemons, elephants, rhinos (ask about her experience with a baby rhino!), coffee, popcorn, and questions.
Subbayya is from India. Vastek, by way of Chwastek, is from Poland.