About the Competition >

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.


Outstanding pianists from throughout the United States and foreign countries and from major music schools have been attracted to the Competition.   Nationally and Internationally known pianists and conductors are chosen to be judges.


Nena Wideman, a former member of the Centenary College piano faculty, was the guiding spirit of the first competition and continued with unwavering enthusiasm until her death in 1983.   In 1982, an Endowment was created by the Shreveport Symphony in honor of Mrs. Wideman and established the permanence of this annual event.  


Since Mrs. Wideman's death, Dr Lester Senter Wilson has been Executive Director.   Both the late John Shenaut, Conductor Emeritus of the Shreveport Symphony and the late Mrs. Clayton Young were Co-Chairmen of the Competition until their death.

Aristo Sham (seated center) Gold Medalist in the 2015 Wideman International Piano Competition, surrounded by the jury and Executive Director.

Front Row: Abbey Simon, Internationally known concert pianist; Sham; Steven Guntzehauser, Music Director of the Lancaster (PA) Symphony Orchestra.

Back Row: Jeffrey Rink, Conductor and Music Director of the Northwest Florida Orchestra; Al Mouledous, Concert Pianist and Professor of Piano at Southern Methodist University; Lester Senter Wilson, DMA, Executive Director of the Wideman; and Stanislav Khristenko, Concert Pianist and Gold Medalist for the 2008 Wideman Competition.

Judges in 2016 were:

  • Alon Goldstein, International Concert Artist and winner of the Wideman Gold Medal in 1996

  • Alfred Mouledous, Professor of Music at Southern Methodist University and concert pianist

  • John Perry, Professor of Piano at numerous institutions and concert pianist

  • Jeffrey Rink, Music Director of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra

  • Nelita True, Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music and concert pianist