Lawrence University Pianist, Quintet Earn Top Honors in State Music Competition

Six Lawrence University student musicians — a pianist and a woodwind quintet — earned first-place honors at the 17th annual Neale-Silva Young Artists competition held March 18 in Madison.

This was the seventh consecutive year and 12th time in the past 14 years that Lawrence students have won or shared top honors in the Wisconsin Public Radio-sponsored event.

Cameron Pieper, piano, a sophomore from Fond du Lac, and the woodwind quintet — Kelsey Burk, oboe, a senior from Stacy, Minn.; Jake Fisher, bassoon, a senior from Lake Forest, Ill.;  Kinsey Fournier, clarinet, a senior from Conway, Ark.; Sam Golter, flute, a senior from Springfield, Va.; and Emma Richart, French horn, a senior from Olympia, Wash. — shared top honors with Chris Peck, cello, of UW-Madison; Austin Larson, French horn,  a student from Neenah studying at the University of Cincinnati; and Rachel Holmes, voice, of Madison, a graduate of the New England Conservatory, in the state competition. Each first-place musician received $400 for their winning performances.

The competition is open to instrumentalists and vocal performers 17-26 years of age who are either from Wisconsin or attend a Wisconsin college. Lawrence musicians accounted for four of the competition’s 15 finalists, selected from among 50 entries. Also representing Lawrence in the finals were pianists Michael Gold and Le Kong.

Pieper and the woodwind quintet will reprise their winning performances Sunday, April 29 at 12:30 p.m. in the Wisconsin Union Theater in Madison. The concert will be broadcast live statewide on the Classical Music Network of WPR and can be heard locally at 89.3 FM.

The Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition was established to recognize young Wisconsin performers of classical music who demonstrate an exceptionally high level of artistry.  It 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.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.