Charles Wadsworth

Charles WadsworthCHARLES WADSWORTH (Artistic Director for Chamber Music) is a Festival favorite as pianist and host of the twice-daily chamber music concerts, a role he began-in a perfectly understandable mix of English and Italian-at the Spoleto Festival in Italy in 1960. As the founding Artistic Director of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center from 1969 to 1989, Wadsworth brought chamber music to unprecedented popularity. His innovative programming, his inclusion of major soloists and a wide range of repertoire inspired a new generation of virtuoso musicians to perform chamber music and led to the proliferation of chamber music festivals worldwide. His innovations at Lincoln Center include commissioning works from myriad composers, including Barber, Bernstein, Bolcom, Boulez, Corigliano and Menotti. He is the Artistic Director of the Festival Internacional de Música in Cartagena, Colombia, and also directs various chamber music concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut; Beaufort, Columbia and Camden, South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia. Wadsworth has been honored by France as a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters and by Italy as a Cavaliere Ufficiale in the Order of Merit. He has been awarded New York's Handel Medallion, South Carolina's Order of the Palmetto and Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award, and honorary doctorates from the University of South Carolina, Converse College and Connecticut College. Wadsworth has played at the White House for Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. He plays annual concerts in his hometown of Newnan, Georgia, which renamed and renovated the municipal auditorium in his honor. He is married to Susan Wadsworth, the founder of Young Concert Artists, Inc. They have a daughter, Rebecca, and grandson Ahmed.