Lawrence University Pianist, Saxophone Quartet Share Top Honors in State Music Competition

Five Lawrence University music students shared top honors in the 10th annual Neale-Silva Young Artists competition held Sunday, March 7 in Madison.

Pianist Ka Man (Melody) Ng and the Lawrence University Saxophone Quartet were named two of the four winners in the Wisconsin Public Radio-sponsored competition. It was the fifth time in the past seven competitions that Lawrence music students have won or shared top honors in the Neale-Silva, which is open to instrumentalists and vocal performers 17-26 years of age who are either from Wisconsin or attend a Wisconsin college. This year’s competition attracted 34 entries, 13 of which were invited to perform as finalists.

Ng, a freshman from Hong Kong, performed Debussy’s “Suite for the Piano” and Liszt’s “Legend of St. Francis of Paola Walking on the Water.” She is a student in professor Anthony Padilla’s piano studio.

The saxophone quartet — junior Sara Kind of Oshkosh, senior Jacob Teichroew of Silver Spring, Md., senior Bryan Wente of Stillwater, Minn., and senior Rasa Zeltina of Edina, Minn. — performed “Tetraphone” by Lucie Robert. The quartet studies under the direction of professor Steven Jordheim.

In addition to receiving first-place prizes of $250, Ng and the quartet will reprise their winning performances Sunday, March 21 at 2:30 p.m. as part of WPR’s “Live from the Elvehjem” series.

The Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition was established to recognize young Wisconsin performers of classical music who demonstrate an exceptionally high level of artistry and is supported by a grant from the estate of the late University of Wisconsin Madison professor Eduardo Neale-Silva, a classical music enthusiast who was born in Talca, Chile and came to the United States in 1925.