Sergiu Schwartz is in his fourth year of teaching at the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music.
He’s been tirelessly recruiting new students ever since he got here. Sergiu said when he got here that he was expected to bring 15 new students to CSU. In four years, he doubled that number.
Sergiu says the time has gone by very quickly.
“When you have a lot to do, time flies very fast,” he said.
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Besides teaching and recruiting, he has a full performance schedule here, in the United States and internationally.
He’s proud of his students, the first of whom will be graduating this year. Already, these students have been pursued to get their master’s degrees by the likes of the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music and Southern Methodist University, all universities with highly acclaimed music schools.
Find the right balance
Sergiu says his most difficult task is to be able to teach these talented students, yet keep up with a personally satisfying performance schedule.
“You have to either be a professor or an artist who is always traveling,” he said. “You have to find a balance between teaching and performing.”
The guest artists
For tonight’s concert, he’s proud to have two colleagues performing with him — cellist Andrés Díaz and pianist Gila Goldstein.
Díaz is one of two interim cello professors this year and another teacher who keeps up his performance schedule as a soloist and a member of the Díaz Trio.
Goldstein, he says, is “a wonderful pianist.”
Good professors take their students under their care and become like surrogate parents while they are still in school, he said.
“They (the students) are entrusted to us,” he said.
Because Díaz is in Texas, on the SMU faculty, rehearsal time is limited.
“We practice whenever he is on campus,” Sergiu said.
In his four years, he said he’s found Columbus to be “the model of generosity in very real terms.”
Without the Patrons of Music, Sergiu said he doubts that there would be endowments like the one he enjoys as the William B. and Sue Marie Turner Distinguished Faculty Chair in Music or the Woodruff Scholarships, which provides full scholarships for students.
A university of the arts?
“This is a unique community that supports the arts,” he said. “There is a vision here. I think Columbus State University will be the Georgia University of the Arts. This is our niche.
“The community invests so much. We have a wonderful music program that is successful and on par with the best schools.
“Now, we have to try to keep it. And to make sure our students stay and graduate.”