Pianist 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 concert pianist and keyboardist, 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 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, an electroacoustic duo with electronic sound artist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist 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.
With composer David Ibbett, Sophia is a co-founder of Music of Reality, an interdisciplinary concert series and space for cross-cultural discovery based in Boston that collaborates closely with researchers, scientists, and musicians. Together, they’ve also released an EP, “Beauty from Nothing”, featuring electroacoustic music written by David for Sophia.
Sophia maintains an ongoing relationship with Arts Letters & Numbers, a nonprofit in upstate New York dedicated to creating creative exchanges across a wide range of disciplines, where she is a visiting artist. 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.
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.