Sophia Subbayya Vastek
pianist, composer


For Sophia, the piano is home. Growing up with parents who were both professional pianists, she has been immersed in the wide-ranging abilities of the instrument since birth. As a result, she has developed an intuitive, dynamic playing style that’s rooted in improvisational exploration, her classical background, and importantly – deep curiosity.

Described as performing with "passion and profound tenderness” (Second Inversion) and “serene strokes and lyrical beauty” (Brooklyn Rail), Sophia is a pianist and composer who moves with ease between musical worlds. Her music is quietly devastating, ethereal, and cinematic, blossoming into ambient-inspired soundscapes that range from whisper-soft echoes to expressive cascades.

"Ghostly, delicate, elegant..." (Independent Clauses)

Her most recent LP, In Our Softening (2022), produced by Sam Torres (Polymouth Music), features nine of her own beguiling piano compositions, each track a part of a thoughtfully woven tapestry. Recorded entirely on an upright built in 1902 – complete with a giant crack in the soundboard – the album draws listeners in with its vulnerable and vibrant intimacy. The album has been called “a tender and revelatory balm" by editors at I Care If You Listen, “heaven on earth” (Sun 13), and “one of the very best things I've heard all year” by longtime music journalist Steve Smith (Night After Night).

Her debut album, Histories (Innova Recordings, 2017) was produced by Grammy-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse, and described as “a beautiful mosaic of the larger cultural intersections of our world, and how we weave those histories together through music” (Second Inversion). She has also released an EP of the complete solo piano works by composer Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), entitled Lili (2020, reissued 2023).

In 2022, Sophia was recognized as a composer by the New York State Council on the Arts and New York Foundation For the Arts (NYSCA/NYFA) as a Music/Sound Fellow, a statewide program focused on the evolution of contemporary art.

Equally important to the music itself are the spaces in which Sophia’s music exists. Whether she is performing, curating, or presenting, she is dedicated to creating musical experiences that are grounded in care. She is currently a co-curator of the popular Lift Series at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. She also presents concerts in her home – a converted church-space in South Troy called Troy Listening Room.

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