David Kiser

Host, Producer

David Kiser is host and producer of On the Keys, an hour of piano music played by virtuoso pianists, for South Carolina Public Radio's Classical Stations. David began studying piano at 10. More recently he obtained a Masters Degree in Piano Performance from Converse College with Professor Douglas Weeks. Formerly he studied at the University of South Carolina and before that the College of the Charleston with full scholarship. (Not to mention a stint at Wofford College studying government).

He has performed across the state in churches and recital halls. Recently at Twichell Auditorium in Spartanburg he performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Converse Symphony Orchestra. A fan of new music he played the song cycle, Pisgah Songs, by local composer John Grier at the Southeastern Composer’s League Forum in 2015 (find it on Youtube). When David was a young piano student in the upstate he played Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Carolina Youth Symphony and is very proud that a recent student he coached won the same competition. As part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival he performed Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1 in Charleston and in Perugia, and Spoleto, Italy.

Currently you can hear him every week on the radio playing and talking but mostly talking. In another guise, you can hear him each week at the Holloway pipe organ in Buford Street United Methodist Church in Gaffney where he is organist. Most musicians have many gigs. He also teaches piano at Anderson University, South Carolina School of the Arts and privately at his home in Greenville.

David is married to Lisa Lee Kiser, the principal keyboardist of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. They have two daughters and two dogs. The younger daughter has recently started to climb up on the piano bench and mash the keys, forte e piano. The older daughter plays violin and is in the Carolina Youth Symphony.

Ways to Connect

Sidney Foster
Courtesy of Justin Foster

Sidney Finkelstein (changed later to Foster) was born in Florence and lived on West Evans Street. He attended the famed Curtis Institute of Music and played at Carnegie Hall numerous times. 

  Thursday night at 8:00 on ETV Radio's Classical Stations, On the Keys​ features the 15-year-old pianist Elisabeth Tsai. Last year Elisabeth won first place at the Music Teachers National Association Competition (MTNA). More telling of her artistic ability, at the same competition, she won the Chopin Prize, which is given to the best performance of a work by Chopin. You will hear her play the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise by Chopin that was recorded during the winner’s concert in Chicago.

 On the Nov 8th  edition of On The Keys piano students from the upstate got a chance to perform on historical pianos from the Carolina Clavier Collection curated by Thomas Strange. Yu Jung Jeon a high school junior and Melvina Kuoshu play music by Haydn on a type of piano he would have used in London in the 1790s. Annabelle Yang performs Chopin on a piano that Frederick Chopin actually played during his visit to England in 1848.

Vadym Kholodenko
Gina Bachauer

Vadym Kholodenko won the Gold Medal at the 13th International Van Cliburn Piano Competition. On this week’s On the Keys, host David Kiser interviews Vadym. He then plays Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra led by Edvard Tchivzhel. In between, he plays a Polka by Rachmaninoff that enamored audiences last year in Greenville, in an impromptu performance at an after-party.  Though he has won one of the most well-known piano competitions, Vadym shares his distaste for competitions in the interview.