For the fourth consecutive year, a Lawrence piano performance major has won the Wisconsin state level Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Piano Performance competition.
Michael Brody, a senior double-degree candidate, earned first-place honors at the state competition held Oct. 17 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Erin Grier, a senior from Woodside, Del., received honorable mention recognition. Brody and Grier are both students in the studio of associate professor of music Anthony Padilla.
By winning the state competition, Brody advances to the six-state East Central Division competition on Jan. 16-18, 2004 at Oberlin College in Ohio. Winners at the division level will compete at the MNTA national competition in Kansas City, Mo., next March.
The Wisconsin MTNA competition requires students to play a complete concerto from memory, as well as three shorter contrasting works. Brody performed Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata, Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 and the Bach Organ Chorale Prelude “Ich ruf, zu dir” transcribed by Ferruccio Busoni.
Lawrence University senior Rachel Bittner earned first prize honors Saturday, May 24 at the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association’s annual Badger Collegiate Piano Competition. It was the second straight year a Lawrence pianist was awarded the competition’s top prize.
In addition, Nicholas Towns and Erin Grier earned honorable mention recognition at the competition.
Conducted at Lawrence’s Memorial Chapel, the WMTA Badger Collegiate Competition featured 12 pianists from colleges and universities throughout Wisconsin. It was adjudicated by Fred Karpoff, chair of the keyboard department at Syracuse University.
Bittner, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., who earned honorable mention recognition in this same competition last year, received $200 for her winning performance. A student of Associate Professor Anthony Padilla’s piano studio, Bittner played Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata, Op. 57, Prokofieff’s Sonata No. 7, Op. 83 and Chopin’s Scherzo No. 3. She will pursue graduate studies this fall in piano performance at the University of Wisconsin, where she will study with former Lawrence music professor Catherine Kautsky.
Towns, a senior from Princeton, Ill., and Grier, a junior from Woodside, Del., are also students of Padillla’s piano studio.