Contact: Lois Robinson, Executive Director 


Featuring two Wideman Competition winners playing the Grieg Piano Concerto and Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2
SHREVEPORT, LA, JANUARY 11, 2016 - On January 23, the Shreveport Symphony will feature two Wideman International Piano Competition winners,  Stanislav Khristenko and Tomer Gewirtzman, playing the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 and Grieg Piano Concerto. The evening will also include the premiere of a new work by Kermit Poling, commissioned in memory of SSO's Honorary Board Chair, Virginia Shehee.

Poling's premiere, Symphony No. 1 ("Shreveport"), was co-commissioned by Neil Johnson and Michael McCarthy. "This work had its genesis from a casual conversation with photographer Neil Johnson. Many symphonic works are named after cities or countries that inspired or premiered them, and I mentioned that I always fantasized about a 'Shreveport' Symphony inspired by the city I've come to know and love so well. Neil jumped on this idea and promptly contacted Michael McCarthy to co-commission the piece in honor of Virginia Shehee, who played such an important role not only in the history of this community but of our orchestra. I'm very grateful to both men for honoring me with this opportunity as well as to Michael Butterman and the SSO for bringing the piece to life," said Poling. Kermit Poling is a composer, long-time violinist with the SSO (and former concertmaster), and SSO's associate conductor.


Stanislav Khristenko
Wideman Piano Competition 65th Anniversary Celebration 
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2016 - 7:30 PM
RiverView Theater
Michael Butterman, conductor

SHOSTAKOVICH   Piano Concerto No. 2   
Stanislav Khristenko, piano
GRIEG   Piano Concerto in A minor   
Tomer Gewirtzman, piano
POLING  Symphony No. 1 ("Shreveport")   WORLD PREMIERE 

Tomer Gewirtzman
FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE - starts at 6:30 PM - Shuttle picks up at Regions Bank parking garage at the corner of Milam & Market Streets. 

Tickets are on sale now online at or by phone at 318-227-8863. Ticket prices range from $19-$59. Student ticket are $12.

The SSO's season sponsor is   Willis-Knighton Health System. The concert sponsor is the Shreveport Symphony Guild.


About Stanislav Khristenko

Praised for his emotional intensity, charismatic expression, and brilliant technique Ukrainian-born pianist Stanislav Khristenko is one of America's most thought-provoking and eminent young artists. Stanislav Khristenko's performances have captivated audiences on four continents since his first solo recital at the age of 11. A "poet of piano" (Le Soir), Mr. Khristenko has been praised in the media around the globe. New York Times reviewer Zachary Woolfe wrote that in "an impressive recital...(he) plays with thoughtful lucidity and restraint." Spanish El Pais wrote of his "precise technique, powerful sound and fingers of steel." In the 2014/15 concert season Stanislav appeared as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S., as well as South Korea, Spain, Belgium, and Bulgaria. Summer 2015 brought Mr. Khristenko to England and South Korea for performances of Rachmaninov's 2nd and Beethoven's 3rd concertos. He also appeared at the Ravinia Festival, New Orleans Keyboard Festival, and International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City. Mr. Khristenko has appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Phoenix and Richmond Symphonies, National Orchestra of Belgium, Bilbao and Tenerife Symphony Orchestras, among others. His performance highlights include solo recitals in Weill and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, Schubert-Saal at Vienna Konzerthaus, Palais de Beaux-Arts in Brussels, as well as performances with orchestras in Grosser Saal of The Berlin Philharmonie, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Moscow Conservatory Great Hall, and Hong Kong City Hall. Mr. Khristenko has won top prizes at some of the most prestigious international piano competitions. In 2013 alone he won First Prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Maria Canals International Music Competition, and was named Fourth Laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Stanislav Khristenko is a Steinway Artist.

About Tomer Gewirtzman
Hailed for his "...formidable virtuosity and stylistic sensitivity" ( Washington Post), Israeli pianist Tomer Gewirtzman has recently won the First Prize in the 2015 Young Concert Artists International  Auditions. He also won the Washington Performing Arts Prize, which will co-present his Kennedy Center debut, as well as five concert prizes: the Buffalo Music Society Prize, the Harriman-Jewell Series Prize (MO), the Sunday Musicale Prize (NJ), the Usedom Music Festival Prize (Germany), and the Vancouver Recital Society Prize. Tomer is also the first-prize winner in the 64th Wideman International Piano Competition that took place in December 2014 in Shreveport, LA. In June 2014, he won the third prize in the inaugural Midwest Piano Competition in Iowa. In addition, Tomer won first prize in the Aspen Music Festival concerto competition right after winning second prize in the International Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose. He has received top prizes in other international competitions such as the International Keyboard Institute Festival piano competition in New York, Arte Con Anima piano competition in Greece, and the International Baltic Piano Competition in Poland. 

About the Wideman International Piano 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. The late Maestro John Shenaut, Conductor Emeritus of the Shreveport Symphony, and the late Mrs. Clayton Young have been Co-Chairmen of the Competition. The 65th Competition was held December 4-6, 2015.

About Kermit Poling

Named by Forum Magazine as one of the top ten faces to watch, Kermit Poling is celebrating his 20th season as Music Director of the South Arkansas Symphony, 25th season as Music Director of the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet and 29th season as Associate Conductor of the Shreveport Symphony. He is also a virtuoso violinist, a Centaur recording artist, and performed as SSO Concertmaster for 27 years. As a conductor, Maestro Poling performs extensively throughout the United States and around the world. He has been featured with orchestras in Europe, Mexico and China as well as frequently conducting closer to home. He has led the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and Moscow Ballet (during their American tour), the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Macon Symphony, Opera! Lenawee, the Marshall Symphony and many others. Also a composer, Poling's most recent ballets include Peter Pan, premiered by the University of Hartford in 2014 and Beauty and the Beast, premiered by the Oklahoma City Ballet in 2014. His work, No Sound of Trumpet nor Roll of Drum premiered in 2011 and was featured in SYMPHONY Magazine. His scores to the silent film Tarzan and for the documentary Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle won accolades across the country. Past compositions include the ballets Snow White, Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, and Phantom of the Opera and several recent compositions commissioned by the Shreveport Summer Music Festival including Within the Orb of Glories Wearing and Visions of the Virgin

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About the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra
Since its founding in 1948, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has become Louisiana's oldest continually operating professional orchestra and one of the most respected regional orchestras in the United States. The SSO's mission is: To Embrace - to embrace the community we serve and to be embraced by the same community; to broaden the level of supporters and their involvement with the orchestra; to work across the region with various arts organizations through cooperation and partnerships. To Enlighten - to educate; to enlighten the senses beyond the norm. To Experience - to provide the unique aesthetic experiences of live orchestral music; to give depth and enriching life; to connect people through music; to foster cultural diversity. To Excel - to foster artistic, organizational, and financial excellence.