(December 7, 2009)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Bulkina Wins Top Prize at Wideman Piano Competition

Anna Pavlovna Bulkina

SHREVEPORT, La.—Anna Pavlovna Bulkina won the top prize Sunday in the 2009 Wideman Piano Competition held here on the Centenary College campus.

Bulkina, of Turkmenistan, started out as one of 45 contestants when the annual competition began with preliminary rounds Friday and Saturday. Contestants represented schools from all over the United States as well as 17 other countries.

The contest was whittled down to seven, including Bulkina, who continued on to the final rounds.

As gold medal winner, Bulkina receives the $5,000 William Peyton Shehee and Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee Award and a chance to perform with the Shreveport Symphony, the Northwest Florida Symphony and the South Arkansas Symphony. She will also play recitals with the Bell Concert Series at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, the Phillips Gallery in Washington D.C. and the Bossier Jam'n Bread Series.

Bulkina is a postgraduate student at Texas Christian University. Her concerto selection was Prokofiev's "No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16." Now 23, she has been playing piano since age 6.

Other competition award winners include:

  • Lu Shen, of China and attending the New England Conservatory, captured the silver medal, $2,500 F. Thomas Siskron III Family Award. He performed Brahms' "No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15." He has attended the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Shantou Lin Baixin School in Fujian Province, China.
  • Jennifer Chu, a New York native and a doctoral student at the Juilliard School of Music, was awarded, the bronze medal, $1,500 Martha Jones Rice Award given by Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Carl Rice. She performed Mozart's "Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K 482." First schooled in the piano by her mother at age 3, she made her performance debut with the Rockland Symphony Orchestra at age 13.

Honorable mentions were:

  • Keenan Allred Reesor, of Utah and a graduate assistant at the University of Southern California
  • Xiaodan Sun, of of China and attending Oberlin
  • Victoria Fatu-Martirosyan, of Azerbaijan
  • Hando Nahkur, from Estonia and now at Texas Christian University

The annual competition was named after the late Nena Plant Wideman in 1983 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 has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.