(December 2, 2008)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073 | email

Nena Wideman Piano Competition Takes Place Dec 5-7 at Centenary

SunAh Lee performs Beethoven No 5 in E Flat (Op 73) on the first day of competition.

Beethoven No 5 in E Flat Op 73

SHREVEPORT, La.— The 2008 Wideman Piano Competition will be held Friday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 7 in the Anderson Auditorium of the Hurley School of Music, located on the Centenary College campus. The event is free and open to the public with contributions accepted at the door for the final round.

Sponsored by the Shreveport Symphony Guild, the competition includes 48 contestants ranging in age from 18 to 25 years old and represent schools from across the United States as well as 16 other countries. Schools represented include the Boston Conservatory, Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School.

Preliminary rounds begin at 10:45 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. Friday and begin at 9:15 a.m. Saturday with each contestant playing for 15 minutes. For the final round, held on Sunday, each finalist will perform a complete concerto. The starting time will depend on the number of selected finalists.

Judges for the competition will be Mark Carrington, pianist, composer and music director of The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; concert pianists Alon Goldstein, international concert pianist and winner of the 1996 Wideman Piano Competition; Colman Pearce, conductor, pianist and composer, principal guest conductor of the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra in Ireland; Alfred Mouledous, student of Cecile Genhart, Walter Geiseking and Alfred Cortot and recording artist with Mercury and Envoy; and Jeffrey Rink, music director and conductor of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor in North America, Asia and Europe.

Winners will be chosen in the final round. The gold medal winner will perform with the Shreveport Symphony at the 2009 opening concert, the Bell Concert Series at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago and the Phillips Gallery in Washington D.C.

Competition awards include the gold medal, the $5,000 William Peyton Shehee and Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee Award; the silver medal, $2,500 F. Thomas Siskron III Family Award; the bronze medal, $1,500 Martha Jones Rice Award given by Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Carl Rice; honorable mention, $1,000 Dr. Jack E. and Carroll Bright Carlisle Award given by Mr. and Mrs. Jack E. Carlisle Jr., Dr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Carlisle, Mr. and Mrs. William Hancock; and special awards including the $1,000 Raymond Morris Award, $500 Glenda Lee Harrison Award given by Stephen Harrison and $500 Lester Senter Wilson/Marcille Young Award.

The Nena Wideman Piano Competition, which began in 1950, has been held annually the first weekend of December, at Centenary College-Hurley School of Music. The name of the annual competition was changed in 1983 after the late Nena Wideman, a former member of the Centenary College piano faculty, for her contributions to the contest.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.