The 2016 Wideman International Piano Competition came to a close Saturday, January 28, 2017, with the three finalists playing with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Michael Butterman.
The Competition, now in its 66th year, began in early December 2016 when 40+ pianists converged on Shreveport. Seven were selected as semi-finalists and from that group, the three finalists were chosen to play with the Symphony. At the conclusion of the concert, the judges announced their decision:
Tzu-Yin Huang from Taiwan, who studies at the University of Michigan and who played the Barber Concerto, Op. 38, received the Gold Medal. The Medal is the William Peyton Shehee and Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee Award.
There was a tie for the Silver Medal. Alison Chiang, a native of Kansas who studies at the Eastman School of Music and who played the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, and Chuyue Zhang from China, who studies at The Juilliard School and played the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, shared the Silver Medal Award, given by Alice & John Frazier (in memory of Genevieve & Carlton Frazier) and Martha & Bill Smith, and the Bronze Medal Award, The Magnolia Award, given by the family of Marilyn Johnson King.
Chuyue Zhang also won the Audience Favorite Award, given in memory of Norman Fisher by Dr & Mrs Wayne Homza.
The Judges for the finals were:
Westwood Hills, Concert Pianist
International Center for Music, Park University and International Piano Academy Lake Como
1998 Wideman Gold Medalist, 2001 Gold Medalist of the Cliburn Competition
Dallas, TX, Concert Pianist, Recording Artist
and Professor of Piano, Southern Methodist University
Pasadena, CA, Concert Pianist
and Professor of Piano at half the music schools in North America!
Lester Senter Wilson, executive director of the Competition, said, "This has been one of the most exciting competitions we have ever had. I do so appreciate Maestro Butterman's continuing interest in the Competition and the wonderful opportunity he afforded not one but three outstanding young artists to appear with the Symphony."
The next Wideman International Competition will be December 1-3, 2017.