Outstanding Artist Piano Competition

The competition was established in 2005 to provide an additional performance opportunity for talented pianists from Washington state. It runs concurrently with the MTNA Competition, but is not part of the MTNA Competition. The Outstanding Artist Piano Competition (OAPC) may serve as a positive initial step for students desiring to compete in the MTNA Performance Competition in future years.  A teacher may not enter the same student in both WSMTA OAPC and MTNA Performance Competition in the same year.

The OAPC is a state level competition with monetary awards.

  • Registration opens on August 15, 2023
  • Registration closes in September

Cherie Felts, OAC Chair

Cherie Felts and Judy Price at CWU
during the 2018 Outstanding Artist Competition

2022 Outstanding Artist Junior Competition Results

2022 Outstanding Artist Senior Competition Results

2022 Outstanding Artist Piano Competition Judges

Dr. Eneida Larti

Known for her colorful and imaginative sound, Dr. Eneida Larti enjoys an exciting career as a performer, educator, and chamber musician. An assistant professor at the University of Idaho, Dr. Larti leads the areas of collaborative piano and piano pedagogy. She has held positions at the University of Colorado Boulder and Ouachita Baptist University. In demand as an adjudicator, she has served on juries in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Idaho, Missouri, Texas, and Washington. An active member of the Music Teachers National Association, Dr. Larti is invited regularly to present for Pedagogy Saturday at the MTNA National Convention and most recently presented lectures at the 2021 National Center for Keyboard Pedagogy Conference, the 2021 Colorado State MTNA Conferences. In 2019, Dr. Larti completed a weeklong residency in Fairbanks, Alaska where she presented masterclasses and her lecture “Learning through imagery: A multisensory approach for successful outcomes” for the Interior Alaska Keyboard Teachers Association. She presents regularly for students at other universities and shares

As a soloist, Dr. Larti has earned prizes in numerous competitions, such as the Tunnel Concerto Competition, MTNA competition, and Ladies’ Music Club competition among others. She has performed throughout the United States and in Turkey, Albania, Switzerland, and France. She has worked with cellist Ralph Kirschbaum, Anne Epperson, and the world-renowned Takács Quartet. As a chamber musician, she performs with the Hammers & Reeds piano trio, which brings new works to audiences throughout the Northwest. The latest recording projects include chamber works by Nansi Carroll and Jenni Brandon. Committed to championing works by women composers, recent concerts have featured chamber works by Isabella Leonarda, Dora Pejačević, Ethel Smyth, Mel Bonis, Laura Netzel, Lera Auerbach, and more.

Dr. Larti completed her doctoral studies at the University of Colorado under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Cooperstock, her master of music in performance with Dr. Karen Shaw at Indiana University, and the undergraduate studies with professor Ernestine Scott at Oklahoma City University. A community-minded entrepreneur, Dr. Larti is co-founder of AIMCreate, a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities and funding for underprivileged students who wish to pursue music.

Dr. William Chapman Nyaho

Dr. William Chapman Nyaho, a Ghanaian American, is an active solo recitalist, duo pianist and chamber musician, giving recitals and concerts throughout the United States, and in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean, often focusing on music by composers of African descent. He regularly serves as a guest clinician at colleges and universities around the United States and has also adjudicated for national and international piano competitions. Chapman Nyaho’s professional experience includes being a North Carolina Visiting Artist and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he held the Heymann Endowed Professorship and was the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award. He has served as Visiting Professor of Piano at Colby College and Pomona College, has been an Artist-in-Residence at Willamette University and professor of piano studies at the Adamant Music School. He has also been on the summer faculty of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Chapman Nyaho currently serves on the piano faculty at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, as well as operating a private teaching studio in Seattle. In addition to teaching, Chapman Nyaho serves on the board of trustees of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy and is Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Music Teachers’ National Association. A strong advocate for music by composers of African descent, Chapman Nyaho’s publications include a five-volume anthology entitled Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora [Oxford University Press] in recognition of which he received the 2022 MTNA-Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award. He has recorded three CDs of solo piano music by composers of African Descent titled “Senku’” “Asa” and “Kete” on the MSR Classics label. He has also recorded  Aaron Copland: Music for Two Pianos and the recently released Five by Four as the Nyaho/Garcia Duo. Chapman Nyaho earned his degrees from St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Texas at Austin. He also studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève in Switzerland.

Kay Zavislack

American pianist Kay Zavislak enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, teacher, adjudicator, and clinician.  Spending her formative years in Japan, Dr. Zavislak attended the Toho Gakuen High School of Music, one of the most prestigious conservatories in Japan.  Dr. Zavislak then moved to the U.S. and earned the degrees Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. 

As a performer, Dr. Zavislak has given solo and chamber concerts regionally and nationally, in addition to public performances in Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, and Japan. In collaboration with flutist Leonard Garrison and saxophonist Bill Perconti, Dr. Zavislak has also recorded two commercial CDs for Centaur Records.  In addition, she is newly appointed as a co-artistic partner for the Bellingham House Concerts Series.

Many of Dr. Zavislak’s university and pre-college students have received top prizes and honors in a number of international and regional piano festivals and competitions, such as Nomea International Piano Competition in Italy, the Memorial “Sanja Pavlovic” International Competition in Serbia, Stage4Kids Festival in Germany, MTNA Northwest Regional Competition, MTNA Washington State Competition, MTNA Idaho State Competition, Seattle Russian Chamber Music Competition, Spokane Piano Competition, Music Fest Northwest in Spokane WA, and Sonata-Sonatina Festival in Ellensburg WA.  Some of Dr. Zavislak’s former students have been accepted with a full tuition waiver to Bachelor and Master programs nationally.  

In addition to teaching, Dr. Zavislak is in high demand for adjudicating, judging, and giving lectures and workshops locally, regionally, and nationally.

Before joining her family in Bellingham WA in 2013, Dr. Zavislak was an Assistant Professor of Piano and the Keyboard Area Coordinator at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music.  In addition, she has held teaching positions at Albion College, Whatcom Community College, and the University of Michigan. She studied piano under the guidance of Arthur Greene, Logan Skelton, Yoshie Kora, and Miyoko Hamamoto, harpsichord with Edward Parmentier, and organ with Marilyn Mason.

Past Competitions


(Click on the year to view the results from past years)