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March 18-22, 2020

Aeolus Quartet, Artistic Directors

The Charles Wadsworth Competition would not be possible without the incredible generosity of the Blackwell Trust


The Charles Wadsworth Piano Competition exists to provide unparalleled opportunity to tomorrow’s top artists.


The second biennial Charles Wadsworth Piano Competition will be held at the Wadsworth Auditorium in partnership with the University of West Georgia from March 18-22, 2020.

 A common deterrent for young musicians in pursuing competitions is all too often the practical, financial element. Our competitors will be treated as professional artists, and as such, no one will leave the competition without compensation for their time and hard work. All competitors invited to the live semi-final round will be granted a $1,000 award and will have their travel expenses covered. A total of $34,500 in prizes will be granted to the eight competitors in the live competition. Additionally, the application fee is a minimal $30.

We at the Wadsworth Competition are interested in promoting a diverse skill set in the upcoming generation of young pianists. The first live round of the competition will consist of two recitals, one of which will be made up of repertoire entirely of the competitor’s choosing. The competitors will be judged not only on the execution of the program, but also on the concept behind their programming. The second of these concerts will include a duo sonata, to be performed alongside a member of the Aeolus Quartet. The final three competitors will also be performing a piano quintet with the Aeolus Quartet. The sonata and quintet performances will give the jury an opportunity to assess competitors’ chamber music skills, which will likely be central to many of their professional performance careers.

Applications can be submitted at https://app.getacceptd.com/charleswadsworth.





Charles Wadsworth Auditorium
The University of West Georgia

Newnan, GA


Application Deadline:
Nov 17, 2019

March 18-22, 2020





Applications can be submitted at https://app.getacceptd.com/charleswadsworth

Applications open on September 1st, 2019 and close at midnight EST on November 17, 2019.


Age Requirements

The competition is open to applicants who are currently live in the continental US and were born after April 22, 1995 and before April 22, 2002. (Ages 18-25)


Preliminary Round

  • Consists of approximately 30 minutes of video recording, submitted digitally through Acceptd. Applicants may choose approximately 10 minutes of music from the Baroque era, 10 minutes of music from the Classical era, and 10 minutes of music from the Romantic era. All movements must be played in their entirety, but movements may be extracted from larger multi-movement works. Any concerto submissions must NOT be performed with orchestra. This video will be submitted through Acceptd, along with a $35 application fee, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.

  • Eight semi-finalists will be chosen based on their video submissions, resumes, and recommendation letters.

Semi Final Round

Each of the eight semi-finalists will travel to Newnan, GA in March 2020. They will play two recitals, following the repertoire guidelines below.

  • Semi-final Recital 1

A solo piano recital consisting of 40-50 minutes of music. Competitors will be judged on the concept behind their program as well as its execution. The inclusion of traditional repertoire is far from discouraged, but competitors are should attempt to explore inciteful connections between the offered works. This program must include a piece written after 1985. One to three paragraphs explaining the concept behind the program must be submitted along with the application.

  • Semi-final Recital 2

A classical solo sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven (Op. 2 Nos. 1-3, Op. 7, Op. 10 Nos. 1-3, Op. 13, Op. 14 Nos. 1-2, Op. 22, Op. 26, Op. 27 Nos. 1-2, Op. 28)


A Beethoven sonata for violin and piano (Op. 24, Op. 30 No. 2, Op. 30 No. 3, Op. 47, or Op. 96) OR a Beethoven cello sonata (Op. 5 No. 1, Op. 5 No. 2, Op. 69, Op. 102 No. 1, or Op. 102 No. 2)




Gloria Chien

Pianist Gloria Chien has been picked by the Boston Globe as one of the Superior Pianists of the year, “… who appears to excel in everything.” Richard Dyer praises her for “a wondrously rich palette of colors, which she mixes with dashing bravado and with an uncanny precision of calibration…Chien’s performance had it all, and it was fabulous.”

Gloria made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has appeared as a soloist under the batons of Sergiu Comissiona, Keith Lockhart, Thomas Dausgaard, Irwin Hoffman, Benjamin Zander, and Robert Bernhardt. She is a prize winner of the World Piano Competition, Harvard Musical Association Award, as well as the San Antonio International Piano Competition, where she also received the prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work. Gloria has presented solo recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harvard Musical Association, Sanibel Musical Festival, Caramoor Musical Festival, Salle Cortot in Paris, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan.

An avid chamber musician, Gloria has been the resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston since 2000, a group known for its versatility and commitment to new music. Boston Herald praises her for “ [playing] phenomenally.” She recently recorded with clarinetist, Anthony McGill. Her CD with violinist, Joanna Kurkowicz, featuring music of Grazyna Bacewicz was released on Chandos Records. The International Record Review writes, “[the violinist] could ask for no more sensitive or supportive a pianist than Gloria Chien.” Harmonie Magazine writes, “…but it would be unfair not to mention the pianist, who is accompanying the soloist in an absolutely responsive, impressive and confident way. She is more than an accompanist — rather, she is an equivalent partner to the soloist.” The Strad praises her for “super performances…accompanied with great character.” She also received fantastic reviews in Gramophone, American Record Guide, and Muzyka 21. Gloria has participated in such festivals as Chamber Music Northwest, Music Academy of the West, Verbier Music Festival, and Music@Menlo, where she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute in 2010 by Artistic Directors, David Finckel and Wu Han.

Her recent performances include collaborations with the St. Lawrence, Miró, Borromeo, Daedalus and Jupiter String Quartets, David Shifrin, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Rob Kapilow, Paul Neubauer, Roberto Diaz, Andres Diaz, Sharon Robinson, James Ehnes, Nai-Yuan Hu, Bion Tsang, Soovin Kim, Carolin Widmann, Edward Arron and Anthony McGill.
In fall of 2009, Gloria launched String Theory, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga, as its founder and artistic director.
Gloria began playing the piano at the age of five in her native Taiwan. She has a doctor of musical arts, a master’s and an undergraduate degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her teachers have included Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. Gloria is an Associate Professor at Lee University in Cleveland, TN, and is a member of the prestigious Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center. Gloria is a Steinway Artist.


Simone Dinnerstein

2018 was a banner year for Simone Dinnerstein, including a highly lauded recital at the Kennedy Center, her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, a live recital for BBC’s Radio Three, and an ambitious season as the first artist-in-residence for Music Worcester, encompassing performances, school outreach, master classes, and lectures. Future highlights include a European tour with Kristjan Jarvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and a residency in San Francisco with the New Century Chamber Orchestra including a collaboration with Daniel Hope and Lynn Harrell for the Beethoven Triple Concerto.

Known for her highly personal recital programs, she is increasingly branching out into interesting collaborations. Upcoming projects include performances conducting and leading from the keyboard with her newly-formed string ensemble Baroklyn; duo recitals with cellist Matt Haimovitz; and Portals: Travels through Time, a performance piece with violinist Tim Fain.

Dinnerstein spent 2018 touring Piano Concerto No.3, a piece that Philip Glass wrote for her as a co-commission by twelve orchestras. Circles, her world premiere recording of the concerto with Grammy-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry, topped the Billboard Classical charts. At their New York premiere, the New Yorker was “struck dumb with admiration” by this new addition to the piano concerto repertoire. She has performed the concerto in the U.S. and abroad, including performances alongside the co-commissioning orchestras. Future performances will be held in France, Germany, Italy, and Canada.

Dinnerstein released Mozart in Havana in 2017, recorded in Cuba with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra. She went on to bring the orchestra to the United States for their first ever American tour, which was received with tremendous enthusiasm and was featured in specials for PBS and NPR. Also in 2017, she collaborated with choreographer Pam Tanowitz to create New Work for Goldberg Variations, which was on the year-end top ten lists of critics at the New York Times and the Boston Globe. This project continues to tour and will be given a run of performances at New York’s Joyce Theater in 2019.

Dinnerstein first attracted attention in 2007 with her self-produced recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It was a remarkable success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Classical chart in its first week of sales and was named to many "Best of 2007" lists including those of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the New Yorker. The recording also received the prestigious Diapason d’Or in France and established Dinnerstein’s distinctive and original approach. The New York Times called her “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.”

Since 2007, Dinnerstein has made a further eight albums with repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Ravel, all of which have topped the Billboard Classical charts. Dinnerstein’s performance schedule has taken her around the world. She has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Sydney Opera House, Seoul Arts Center, and London's Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival and the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia festivals; and performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, and the Tokyo Symphony.

Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the U.S. for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. She gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system at the Avoyelles Correctional Center and performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Dedicated to her community, Dinnerstein founded Neighborhood Classics in 2009, a concert series open to the public and hosted by New York public schools to raise funds for their music education programs. She also created a program called Bachpacking during which she takes a digital keyboard to elementary school classrooms, helping young children get close to the music she loves.

A winner of Astral Artists’ National Auditions, she is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio. She is on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son, and Old English Sheepdog, Daisy.


Jamie Parker

Jamie Parker’s achievements are both lengthy and impressive. His musical roots can be traced to the Vancouver Academy of Music and University of British Columbia where he studied with Kum Sing Lee, and then went on to complete his Masters and Doctoral with Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School. Dr. Parker continues the teaching tradition as the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance on the music faculty at the University of Toronto.

Beginning in 1984 with a first prize at the Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition, Jamie served notice that he was a rising star. The CBC competition concurred, selecting him winner of the 25th National Competition for Young Performers. The Virginia P. Moore Award as the most promising young classical artist soon followed, further solidifying Parker’s place as one of Canada’s best.

On-air programs have repeatedly sought out his performances. Mr. Parker has made frequent appearances on CBC, and performances on Bravo!, the CanWest Global Network, MuchMusic and a myriad of stations across the globe.

Jamie’s style has earned him The Globe and Mail’s praise as “One of the most searching musical intellects and 10 of the nimblest fingers in the business.” Jamie has enthralled audiences in North America and Europe, counting diplomats and dignitaries among his receptive audiences.

A consummate professional, Jamie is recognized as a soloist and chamber musician. As well as being the pianist for Canada’s foremost ensemble, the Gryphon Trio, he has critically acclaimed performances with major Canadian symphonies like Toronto, Vancouver, National Arts Centre, Nova Scotia and many in between. With three JUNO recording awards and many other nominations from his vast discography, Jamie Parker continues to graciously strive to do it all.

Travel and Lodging


Semi-final and final round competitors will each be reimbursed for one round-trip economy class plane ticket to Atlanta, GA from a city of their choice in the continental US. Competitors should plan to arrive on April 22nd and depart on April 26th, 2018. Special arrival/departure dates may be accommodated. Competitors will each be provided with a single occupancy hotel room in Newnan, GA, for the nights of April 22-25, 2018. Each competitor over the age of 21 will be reimbursed for a rental car for the duration of their stay in Newnan. Competitors who do not have a valid US driver’s license or are under 21 years of age will be accommodated by volunteer drivers.


Past Winners

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Aristo sham

First Prize
Wadsworth Prize
Chamber Music Prize

Aristo Sham has already dazzled audiences on five continents, in countries ranging from Singapore and Argentina, to Slovenia and Morocco, to China and Iceland. Mr. Sham’s upcoming appearances include the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in Hong Kong and the Mozart Concerto No. 23 with the Utah Symphony. He has previously performed as soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edo de Waart, English Chamber Orchestra under Raymond Leppard, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Minnesota Orchestra. In addition, he has given recitals for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago and the Salle Cortot in Paris, and performed for royalty and dignitaries such as Prince Charles, the Queen of Belgium, and ex-President Hu of China.

Mr. Sham won First Prize at the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions at the age of twenty-two, and numerous special prizes: the Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Prize, Vancouver Recital Society Prize, John Browning Memorial Prize, Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Rhoda Walker Teagle New York Debut Prize, and Korean Concert Society Kennedy Center Debut Prize. The Young Concert Artists Series will present his debut recitals in New York at Merkin Concert Hall and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center Theater in April 2020.

He also won First Prize at the 2019 Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy, the Silver Medal at the 2018 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, First Prize at the 2018 Charles Wadsworth International Piano Competition, First Prize and the Barenreiter Urtext Special Prize at Germany’s Ettlingen International Piano Competition, First Prize at the New York International Piano Competition, and top prizes at the Viseu (Portugal), Wideman, PianoArts, Clara Haskil, Saint-Priest and Viotti Piano Competitions as well as the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

A native of Hong Kong, Mr. Sham began playing the piano at three, and entered the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts at six. He attended the Harrow School in London, and at the age of twelve was featured in the documentary “The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies,” broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK.

Aristo Sham is currently completing a joint program of Harvard University and the New England Conservatory. Harvard granted him a B.A. in Economics with a minor in French in 2019, and he will earn an M.Mus. in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory in 2020. He also travels to Sweden for independent studies at the Ingesund School of Music, and has attended the Harrow School in the United Kingdom and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. In his free time, Mr. Sham enjoys travelling, languages, gastronomy and oenology.

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Domenic Cheli

Second Prize (shared)

Dominic Cheli’s playing has been described as “spontaneous yet perfect, the best of how a young person can play.” (Symphony Magazine). He enjoys a rapidly advancing career, including his Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut with legendary conductor Valery Gergiev, his Carnegie Hall Recital Debut, as well as upcoming CDs on the Naxos label. In July 2017, Cheli’s first CD, featuring the music of Muzio Clementi and released by Naxos, was hailed as “definitive performances, that match splendid playing with an appreciation of Clementi’s diverse, classically based style.” Also in 2017, Dominic was named 1st prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City.

Winner of the 2017 Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, Dominic performed Prokofiev’s 2nd Piano concerto with conductor, composer and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Matthew Aucoin. Described as a “barnstorming Goliath” Mr. Cheli’s performance of Prokofiev’s 2nd concerto “roared like a locomotive, shot firebrands of energy this way and that, while the piano strained to keep in one piece under the thrall of Cheli’s glorious technique.” (Santa Barbara Voice Magazine).

A native of St. Louis, Dominic has performed with the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, as well as orchestras all across the country and abroad including the DuPage Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Princeton Symphony, Colburn Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (Germany), and the Great Falls Symphony. He has worked with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Markus Huber, Rossen Milanov, Arthur Fagen, Matthew Aucoin, and many others. Dominic recently debuted at several major festivals across the United States including the Ravinia Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Virginia Arts Festival. Upcoming engagements included appearances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, performances with the San Diego Symphony, and recitals at the Samos Artists Festival in Greece.

Committed to engaging with his surrounding community, Dominic regularly performs at high schools, retirement homes, and gives both masterclasses and lectures for his younger audiences. Upon invitation, he has performed with Paul Coletti at ViolaFest in Los Angeles for younger students, and “Baby Got Bach” with Pianist Orli Shaham at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Dominic has also performed as an artist for Project: Music Heals Us, a non-profit organization that presents interactive classical music performances to diverse audiences in order to provide encouragement, education, and healing with a focus on elderly, disabled, rehabilitating, incarcerated, and homeless populations.

In 2018, Dominic was invited by his mentor, Andre-Michel Schub to perform at the Virginia Arts Festival, both as a soloist and collaborator, in concerts centered around the music of Mozart. They collaborated in Mozart’s Double and Triple Piano Concertos with the Virginia Symphony, as well as in recital where “Cheli delivered one brilliant performance…it was a dazzling moment by a pianist whose name is destined for Schub-ian heights.” (Virginia Gazette) Mr. Cheli received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, Master’s Degree from Yale University and most recently, an Artist Diploma from the Colburn School. Andre-Michel Schub, Peter Frankl, Fabio Bidini, Zena Ilyashov, and Sylvia Rosenberg are individuals who have been especially influential on his development as an artist.

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Angela zhang

Second prize (shared)

Described as a “valuable advocate for classical music from her generation” by NY Concert Review, pianist Angie Zhang, 20, is a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship at Juilliard and a senior studying with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. An active member of her school community, she has been Chair of Juilliard Student Council, a writer and photographer for the Juilliard Journal, a Student Ambassador, Admissions Tour Guide and Panelist, and a student in the Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard Exchange Program.  Angie was also chosen to be Murray Perahia’s Commencement Escort in 2015.

Charming audiences with her sensitive and thoughtful playing, she has performed extensively as a soloist with orchestras since she made her debut playing under Grammy-nominated conductor Niel DePonte at the age of ten. Angie recently made her debut with the Juilliard Orchestra under Maestro Fabio Luisi, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under Andrews Sill, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra under Matthew Kraemer, and was also re-engaged by the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic, Missouri Symphony Orchestra and the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, which marked her fifth collaboration with Maestro Huw Edwards. She has also performed with the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 212 of NYC and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra, among others.

A top prizewinner in numerous competitions, including the 2014 Aspen Music Festival and School’s Piano Concerto Competition, Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, Juilliard Pre-College Concerto Competition, Juilliard Pre-College Nordmann Scholarship Competition, New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists and the New York Ensemble 212 Young Artist Concerto Competition, she also won the 2016 Juilliard Concerto Competition and earned top prizes in both the PianoArts and New York International Piano Competition.

Notable radio features include the National Public Radio’s popular show From the Top, Aspen Public Radio, WQXR, Portland’s All Classical 89.9 KQAC, Seattle’s KING FM 98.1 and WGBH in Boston.

Angie has not only proven herself a versatile solo and chamber musician but also a passionate educator. She was selected as a teaching fellow and gave private lessons and masterclasses to local students for three summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School. She also holds the 2016-17 Keyboard Skills Departmental Assistantship Position and teaches Keyboard Sight-Reading and Secondary Piano at Juilliard.

She has been a Maxwell Gluck Community Service Fellow for the past two years at Juilliard and gave interactive concerts with musicians, actors and dancers in all five boroughs. Angie has also worked with choreographers Aszure Barton and Katarzyna Skarpetowska, and has been featured on the Juilliard Open Studios app numerous times.