World Pianist Invitational - Where the world's promising pianists meet and compete

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The World Pianist Invitational Foundation, headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, was established to provide an annual opportunity for the international community to come together and celebrate its enduring love for classical piano performances through its most gifted young artists. Held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, The World Pianist Invitational is a world-class competition for classically trained pianists, ages 6 to 29, providing these future musical stars the opportunity to compete for scholarships and credentials on one of the world's most prestigious stages. WPI's next competition will take place in 2015. More information will be available in October 2014.

Recent Media Coverage

Published in the October Issue of Eumag Chunchoo


On June 15th, The First World Piano Invitational Competition took place at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. One of the jury members was Sun Min Kim. WPI was founded by the CEO of Alba Audio Visual Michael Lent and a business man Patrick Saty. The competition was so well advertised using the advantage of being located at the heart of the United States that it drew a impressive number of 2500 applications from all over the world. There were five categories divided by ages (age 6-9, 10-13, 14-17, 18-21, and 22-29), and each category invited five finalists, summing up to 25 finalists. The jury members consisted of Robert Ruckman from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Linda Apple Monson from George Mason University, Washington Garcia from Texas State University, Sophia Agranovich, a director of New Jersey Classicals at the Circle, and Sun Min Kim, an doctoral student from Eastman School of Music. Sun Min Kim stated that "considering that it was the first edition of the competition, the level was extremely high." The executive director of Steinway Washington DC, Kenneth Saliba was also very impressed. Especially, the first prize winner of the age category 22-29, Suham Bello exhibited a highest caliber of technicality along with passionate emotions that drew much applause from the audience. As a jury member, I was very proud. In my opinion, WPI is the very good first step to enter the arena of international piano competitions, and I highly recommend all piano students from Korea to enter. For example, this year, Myung-Ji Lee, who showed fluent technique and beautiful lyricism won the third prize. I hope that the WPI will be the place for pianists from Korea to envision their dreams." The first round of the WPI is a YouTube round. Each contestant is to upload two pieces that are in contrasting styles. The final round takes places in the Kennedy Center in which each contestant is to perform one piece that shows technical and musical ability. The second edition of the competition will take place on July 12th, 2014, and more information is to be found at the website ( Sun Min Kim, one of the jury members, made his debut with Ulsan Symphony Orchestra at age 13. He attended Yewon Arts School, Seoul Arts High School in Korea. After emigrating to the United States, he has been a prizewinner of various national and international competitions, including the Sterling Achievement Award from Mu Phi Epsilon, which is the highest honor that a collegiate music student can receive. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Nelita True, and he has invited to judge the Empire State Competition during Music Teachers National Association New York State Chapter in October.

Published in the October Issue of Eum-Yeon


We are delighted to hear the good news that Myung-Ji Lee received the Third Prize at the World Piano Invitational International Competition, which took place at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC this past June. The competition is organized by the World Piano Invitational Foundation. WPI attracted 2500 applications worldwide, and selected 25 finalists to Washington DC who exhibited a highest caliber of artistry and their pianistic ability. In this competition, she received rave reviews of her performance for her accurate and brilliant pianistic touch, and for her intense and energetic musical ideas. Myung-Ji Lee received her education from the San Francisco Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University as a full scholarship student after graduating from Sunwha Arts High School. She also received the First Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, and American Protege Competition, which led her to a successful Carnegie Hall debut. She has been on faculty at the Sunwha Arts Middle and High School, ChongShin University, Kunsan University, Incheon Arts High School, and Anyang Arts High School. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Arizona.


WASHINGTON, DC, November 2013 - The World Pianist Invitational Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Ann Stahmer as its Chief Operations Officer. Ms. Stahmer brings a wealth of experience, skills and enthusiasm to the position. Ann Stahmer is well known throughout the Washington, DC musical community and beyond for her work as an artistic administrator, music educator, choral conductor, performer, concert producer, choral clinician and adjudicator. Ms. Stahmer recently completed five years as the Executive Director of The City Choir of Washington. As an administrator of nonprofit performing groups, Stahmer has worked with Boards and others to raise the profile of organizations and help to propel them forward in their musical endeavors. For more than 20 years, Ms. Stahmer taught choral music in secondary schools in Nevada, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Her school choirs received consistently high ratings, won prestigious competitions and performed under her direction at the Nevada Music Educators Association, Virginia Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, and The Kennedy Center. Many of Ms. Stahmer's former students are actively pursuing professional music careers. Ms. Stahmer is the music director of The Sound Foundation, a male quartet based in Maryland. Ms. Stahmer sings in The Choral Arts Society of Washington, where she has also served as a concert producer, staff conductor and soloist. Stahmer has produced many concerts in The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as other performances in prestigious venues throughout the Washington metropolitan area, for groups that include The City Choir of Washington, The Choral Arts Society of Washington, The Washington Revels, Choralis, Hesperus, and Washington Men's Camerata. She has served as president of several educational associations, presented workshops at state conferences, adjudicated national music competitions, and been the guest conductor of several regional choruses. Ms. Stahmer earned a Bachelor of Choral Music Education and Master of Reading degrees from the University of Arizona. She also completed graduate work in music education and performance at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She is a member of Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Education. Ann lives in Kingstowne, Virginia with her husband, Tim, who is an Instructional Technology Education Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools.


Even in its inaugural year, The World Pianist Invitational, presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Terrace Theater, garnered support and acclaim. More than 2,000 pianists from around the world answered the call to identify the best young classical pianists from ages 6 to 29. Applications and online video performance were reviewed by the WPI Judicial Committee. Each qualified applicant was referred to an independent pair of highly-qualified and respected judges from throughout the international music community. Based on the total points awarded to each applicant by both adjudicators, the top twenty-five competitors, five in each of five age groups earned the title of 2013 World Pianist Invitational “Phenom Laureate” and were given the special honor of being personally invited to perform in person on Saturday evening June 15, 2013 at one of the most celebrated performing arts venues in the world. A special international panel of five highly-credentialed music judges scored the live performances, announced placement and awarded over $10,000 in cash scholarships the night of the competition. The 2013 winners are posted on the WPI website homepage ( The next World Pianist Invitational Finals will be held in Summer 2015. Pianists’ applications for the 2015 World Pianist Invitational will be accepted online at, beginning in Fall 2014. This event will again be open to the public. Tickets will be available for $35 at the Kennedy Center Box Office, and may be ordered by phone at 202-467-4600 or online at

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