APPLETON, WIS. — The music career of Lawrence University alumnus Mike Truesdell recently received a rocket boost after he earned second-place honors at the prestigious 2010 Tromp International Percussion Competition in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Held every two years, the Tromp competition features the world’s best percussionists. This year’s event was conducted Nov. 13-21.
A 2007 Lawrence graduate, Truesdell was one of only seven musicians from the United States invited to join the finalist field that included 30 percussionists from around the world. He received a second-place prize of 10,000 Euros (approximately $13,000). He also was invited to participate in a series of concerts following the competition at major venues throughout the Netherlands along with the 2010 first-place Tromp winner, Alexej Gerassimez of Germany.
“The Tromp competition is akin to the Cliburn piano competition for percussionists,” said Dane Richeson, director of percussion studies in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music and Truesdell’s former teacher. “This competition alone is going to set Mike on the road to great success.”
In addition to contemporary classical, Truesdell also performs non-Western music, especially that of Ghana, Brazil and Cuba. He has performed as a solo, orchestral and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. Following an October 2009 performance at New York City’s Alice Tulley Hall, The New York Times praised him for playing with “sensitivity and dexterity.” He is currently in his second year of graduate studies at Julliard School.
Truesdell is the second Lawrence graduate to shine in an international percussion competition. Greg Beyer, a 1995 graduate and current associate professor of music at Northern Illinois University, was the second-prize winner of the 2002 Geneva International Music Competition in Switzerland, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious music competitions.
“I can’t believe there are many, if any, universities, especially any our size, that can claim two of their percussionists placed second in two separate international competitions,” said Richeson. “This is truly remarkable.”