Home Events Prestigious Wadsworth Piano Competition to be held in Newnan

Prestigious Wadsworth Piano Competition to be held in Newnan

The second biennial Charles Wadsworth Piano Competition will be held at the Wadsworth Auditorium, in partnership with the School of the Arts at the University of West Georgia, from March 24-27, 2022.

Under the artistic direction of the Aeolus Quartet, the Charles Wadsworth Piano Competition is committed to supporting concert pianists who possess the musicality and diverse skills needed to succeed in the modern classical music world.

The first live round of the competition will consist of two recitals, one of which is comprised 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 conceptual framework 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 perform a piano quintet with the Aeolus Quartet. The sonata and quintet performances will offer the jury an opportunity to assess the competitors’ chamber-music skills, which will be central to many of their professional performance careers.

Our competitors are treated as professional artists, and as such, no one will leave the competition without compensation for their time and hard work. All too often, a common deterrent for young musicians in pursuing competition success is the practical, financial element. All competitors invited to the live semifinal round are 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.           

The invited competitors include Yang Gao, Mannes School of Music; Hilda Huang, the Juilliard School; Rixiang Huang, USC Thornton School of Music; Ryan Jung, the Juilliard School; Aleksandra Kasman, University of Michigan; Aaron Kurz, Yale School of Music; Alexander Yau, Sydney Conservatorium of Music; and Seho Young, Yale School of Music. 

The jury consists of acclaimed pianists Gloria Chien, Terrence Wilson, Stephen Wogaman, and, for the final round, Susan Wadsworth.  

The final round will be held on Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Please visit our website for a detailed schedule of events and livestream link for all rounds: https://www.wadsworthpianocompetition.org/

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


Charles Wadsworth, a celebrated legend in the world of music, is the founding Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and led it for 20 years (1969 to 1989). He created a concept of programming for varied instruments and voice that brought chamber music to the popularity it has today and led to the profusion of chamber music concerts and festivals throughout the U.S. and worldwide. His inclusion of major soloists with a nucleus of permanent artists inspired a new generation of virtuoso musicians to perform chamber music. Wadsworth also instituted a commissioning program that produced important works from a wide range of composers including Barber, Bernstein, Menotti, Bolcom, Boulez and Corigliano. 

For 50 years Wadsworth was a favorite at the Spoleto Festivals (first in Italy and then in Charleston, South Carolina) as artistic director for chamber music, where he both performed as a pianist and was the much-loved host of the daily concerts at the Dock Street Theater. He also was the artistic director of annual concert series presented in Old Lyme, Connecticut; Beaufort, Columbia, Camden, South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia. For 12 years he toured as a pianist in concerts with Beverly Sills. From 2007 to 2010, he was artistic director of the Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música, which he founded, in Colombia.

Deciding to relinquish these responsibilities at the age of 80, Wadsworth continued to perform chamber music concerts with Charles Wadsworth and Friends: violinist Chee-Yun, pianist Stephen Prutsman, clarinetist Todd Palmer and cellist Andres Diaz.            

Wadsworth was inducted in 2017 into the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Hall of Fame. He performed at the White House for four presidents – John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. He has been honored by the Republic of France as a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters and by Italy as a Cavaliere Ufficiale in the Order of Merit. His many honors include New York’s Handel Medallion, South Carolina’s Order of the Palmetto and the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award as well as honorary doctorates from the University of South Carolina, Converse College and Connecticut College. For 20 years Wadsworth gave benefit chamber music concerts in his hometown of Newnan, Georgia, for the restoration and renovation of the municipal auditorium, which is now named Charles Wadsworth Auditorium. The Donald W. Nixon Centre for the Arts and the Blackwell Trust are establishing the first Charles Wadsworth Piano Competition, to be held in April 2018. He is married to Susan Wadsworth, the founder of Young Concert Artists, Inc.

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Originally from East Tennessee, Julie Lineback joined the University of West Georgia in August 2006. Her career started in 2000, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While serving as a communications specialist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, she received an Award of Quality from the Public Relations Society of America, the world’s largest public relations organization, for her work on a catalog. She also worked as a website editor, copywriter and search engine specialist for BellSouth, where she was a certified Google AdWords Professional. Most recently, she received the UWG School of Communication, Film, and Media's Distinguished Service Award for 2023.