Suzanne Richardson, Competition Chair,

View the WIC Strings 2015 Kennedy Center Finals Invitation!

The Washington International Competition for Strings is held every 3 years. The 2015 Competition for Strings semi-finals took place at George Washington University in the Benjamin T. Rome Music Hall at 801 22nd Street, NW, in Room B-120 on both Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6. The finals took place on June 7, 2015, at 2:00 pm in the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


The Washington International Competition for Composition is held every three years. The winner of the 2015 Competition for Composition will be performed by professional musicians of the Washington, DC area at the finals for the Washington International String Competition on June 7, 2015, at 2:00 pm in the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The accepted application link will be open as of October 1, 2014 and will close on February 15, 2015. Winners will be announced by April 1, 2015. Entrants must be under age 35 as of February 15, 2015. An entrance fee of $45 US must be submitted. Composition must be a chamber work for string trio, string quartet, piano trio, piano quartet or piano quintet, and must be a maximum of 8 minutes long. For more details see the Washington International Competition’s website.

For additional information about the Composition Competition and the application process, please contact Mark Simon at

Cash Awards

  • First prize each for violin, viola, cello—$8,000
  • Second prize—$5,000
  • Third prize—$3,000
  • Finalist award—$1,000
  • Audience award—$1,000

2015 Winners

The winners of the 2015 Washington International Competition for Strings were:

  • First Prize Violin: Nadir Khashimov, 24, USA
  • First Prize Viola: Yifei Deng, 22 China
  • Second Prize Cello: Ben Lash, 24, USA
  • Third Prize Violin: Jiazhi Wang, 24, China
  • Third Prize Viola: Wenguan Li, 25 China
  • Fourth Prize: Dmitri Silvian, 27 Russia
  • Audience Prize*: Nadir Khashimov, 24, USA
    *This year the prize was named in honor of Eleanor Woods, a long time chair of this competition and a great contributor to FMMC.

Performance Awards

  • Solo recital, Phillips Collection in Washington, DC
  • Guest solo performance with the FMMC Orchestra at the Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


  1. Applicants must not be under professional management.
  2. Applicants must be neither younger than 18 nor older than 28 as of the competition date (birth certificate is required)
  3. First-prize winners of this competition in past years may not apply.

Housing and Transportation

The WIC provides local housing for participants, with local transportation and meals offered at the convenience of hosts. Housing is for principals only, June 4-7. Winners receive transportation expenses and are provided housing when they are traveling to Washington for a performance associated with their award.


The application process is now open and all materials are available at Contestants can submit their application, pay the application fee, and download MP3 selections using this site. Applications will be accepted until Monday, March 9, 2015.

Required Repertoire

All repertoire must be performed from memory except accompanied sonatas and the work in Category 5. Contestants must be prepared to perform works in their entirety. The required repertoire follows:

  1. One unaccompanied sonata, partita, or suite for violin, viola (transcribed), or cello by J.S. Bach.
  2. One sonata with piano from the classical, romantic, impressionist, or contemporary period.
  3. One concerto or major piece with orchestra by a composer other than the ones chosen for category 1 or 2.
  4. One short work or movement from a longer work which shows virtuosity.
  5. One unaccompanied solo work by a 20th-century composer.
  6. Required MP3 Repertoire: (a) 5 minutes or less from the Bach selection; (b) 12 minutes or less from the sonata selection; and (c) 13 minutes or less from the concerto selection (include cadenza if applicable but no extensive tutti).


Preliminary Judges


  • Wonju Kim
  • Amy Beth Horman
  • Mary Findley


  • Chiara Dieguez
  • Randolph Kelly
  • Victoria Gau


  • Sean Neidlinger
  • Julia Goudimova
  • Natalie Spehar

Semifinal and Final Rounds

Regulations and Instructions

  1. No changes in repertoire permitted past the deadline date on March 9, 2015.
  2. Submit a maximum of 35 minutes from your proposed repertoire for the audition MP3, which should be a representative selection of your playing.
  3. A jury will review submissions to select approximately 30 semifinalists.
  4. All applicants will be notified of the results by mid April.
  5. Semifinalists will be sent further instructions as needed.

Official Pianists

  • Audrey Andrist
  • Hui-Chuan Chen
  • Mayron Tsong
  • Colette Valentine
  • Patti Wolf

Applicants have the choice of using one of our very capable pianists, with whom they will have a rehearsal, or they may bring their own pianist. We do not supply housing for applicants’ own pianists.

Additional Information

  1. FMMC Foundation assumes no responsibility for actions of or injuries sustained by applicants or their escorts during their course of stay in the Washington, DC area.
  2. All contestants are responsible for transportation to and from Washington, DC.
  3. The decision of the judges is final and not to be disputed. No contact with the judges is permitted until after the results have been announced.
  4. The WIC reserves the right to use any recordings or photographs originated during the competitions, or any photographs or recordings provided by the contestants.