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El Dorado Municipal Auditorium
100 W 8th St, El Dorado, AR 71730
As one of the top piano competitions, the International Wideman Piano Competition attracts the finest pianists from the United States and the rest of the world. The South Arkansas Symphony has the privilege of hosting the gold medal winners in concert as one of the prizes offered in the competition. This year, the South Arkansas Symphony welcomes 2017 Gold Medalists Wang Yinou and Mei Li, both accomplished pianists from China.
The Nena Wideman Piano Competition, which began in 1950, has been held annually at Centenary College-Hurley School of Music in Louisiana. Judged by nationally and internationally known pianists and conductors, the competition strives to promote excellence and encouragement to young pianists as they begin their careers.
Wang Yinou, born in Beijing, China in October 1996. Starting to play the piano at the age of 4. In 2007, she was admitted as a piano student to the Music Elementary School attached to the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing, and in 2010 she entered the Music Middle School attached to CCOM. In fall of 2016, she was awarded a full scholarship to begin her study for the Performer's Diploma with Professor Alessio Bax at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
As a piano student for these years, she has won some international piano competitions, including third prize at the IX International Competition for Young Pianists in memory of Vladimir Horowitz in the Ukraine (2011), with the chance to play Liszt Concerto No. 1 with the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic Society of the Ukraine, first prize at the 1st Indonesia Pusaka International Piano Competition in Jakarta (2011), second prize at the competition held by the 18th Hamamatsu International Piano Academy in Japan (2014), third prize at the 1st Midwest International Piano Competition in the United States (2014), Honorable Mention at the Wideman Piano Competition (2016) and third prize at the Chautauqua Piano Competition (2017).
Mei Li was born in Henan, China, and began her piano studies at the age of five. She graduated from the Middle School Affiliated to the China Conservatory. She has given many concerts in national and international festivals. Competition prizes include third prize in the 2011 Steinway International Competition, 5th China Regional Competition, second prize in China Conservatory YAMAHA Asian Scholarship and second prize in the Chinese Golden Bell Award for Music National Piano Competition for Young Artists in 2013, and first prize in the National Youth Piano Arts Festival of the "Zhong Yin Cup" in 2014. Mei is also a national third prize winner in MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition in 2017. In 2015, Mei was admitted to the TCU School of Music as a winner of the prestigious Nordan Music Scholarship and currently studies with Dr. Tamas Ungar.