(December 1, 2014)

Centenary hosts 64th Wideman Piano Competition for 45 acclaimed young pianists

SHREVEPORT, LA — From Friday, December 5 to Sunday, December 7, Centenary's Hurley School of Music will host 45 of the best young pianists from 12 countries and 14 states for the 64th Wideman International Piano Competition. Admission to the preliminary rounds in Anderson Auditorium is free and open to the public and admission to the final competition is free for students and $10 per person for the public.

Executive Director of the competition Dr. Lester Senter Wilson
Executive Director of the competition Dr. Lester Senter Wilson
Photo by Douglas Collier of the Shreveport Times

"We are expecting contestants from such schools as Boston University, Cleveland Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Royal College of Music (London), Royal Conservatory (Montreal), and Yale to name a few," said Executive Director of the competition Dr. Lester Senter Wilson. "Come cheer for these exciting pianists!"

This year, in addition to contestants from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, there are contestants from China, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Russia, and Taiwan.

Title awards include

  • Gold Medal: William Peyton Shehee & Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee Award, $5000
  • Silver Medal: John & Alice Frazier (given in memory of Genevieve & Carlton Frazier) and Martha & Bill Smith Award, $2500
  • Bronze Medal: Martha Jones Rice Award given by Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Carl Rice, $1500
  • Honorable Mention: F. Thomas Siskron III & Family Award, $1000
  • Special Awards: Given by Mrs. Pearla T Despot, and additional Special Awards are provided by the Glenda Lee Harrison Fund and the Marilyn Willis Fund, both of The Community Foundation, $500

The Gold Medalist will also be awarded with several engagements and recitals including performances with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra; the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra; the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Illinois; the Downtown Piano Works Fine Arts Series in Frederick, Maryland; the Emmett Hook Center Texas Street Artist Recital Series in Shreveport, Louisiana; and the Noel Foundation, Inc. Chamber Music Series in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Preliminary Rounds of the Competition will be Friday, December 5, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 6, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (with breaks for lunch both days). All rounds of the competition will be held at the Hurley School of Music at Centenary College. Each contestant will play for 15 minutes.

The finals will be Sunday, December 7 also at the Hurley School beginning at 1:00 p.m. Each finalist will perform a complete concerto.

Beginning in 1950, the Nena Wideman Piano Competition has been held annually the first weekend of December at Centenary College's Hurley School of Music. The annual competition was named after the late Nena Wideman, a former member of the Centenary College piano faculty, for her contributions to the contest.

For more information visit the website www.widemanpiano.com or call 318.869.5235 or 601.946.2063.