Lawrence University Student Pianist Shines in Seattle Music Competition

APPLETON, WIS. — Marshall Cuffe, a Lawrence University sophomore from Salem, Ore., was awarded the Mendelssohn and Audience Favorite prizes following his performance Oct. 10 in the final round of the collegiate division of the 2009 Seattle International Piano Festival and Competition.

Marshall-Cuffe_web.jpgCuffe, who studies in the piano study of Associate Professor of Music Anthony Padilla, was one of six finalists who advanced to the finals from a pool of applicants from Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. He performed works by Felix Mendelssohn and Olivier Messiaen.

The annual competition is held in conjunction with a piano festival that features guest recitals, lectures and master classes. Designed to encourage pianists to find their own niche, participants have the freedom to choose their competition repertoire without specific requirements.

The Mendelssohn and Audience Favorite awards were just the latest accolades for Cuffe, a double-degree candidate majoring in piano performance and Psychology. Last spring he earned first-prize honors in the 2009 Wisconsin Music Teachers Association Collegiate Piano Competition and performed as a “Rising Star” in the 2008 American Guild of Organists National Convention in Minneapolis.