Nathaniel Maxwell receives the 2023 Louis Sudler Prize

Mathematics and Music double major Nathaniel Maxwell has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize. The Louis Sudler Prize is awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most distinguished record of excellence in performance or creation in the arts. Nathaniel Maxwell has been selected for this award for his musical accomplishments during his studies at Duke. Maxwell is also a 2023 awardee of the Julia Wilkinson Mueller Prize for Excellence in Music and the Henry Schumann Music Prize.

Nathaniel Maxwell is graduating this spring with a double major in Mathematics and Music with a Piano Performance Concentration, as well as a minor in Statistics. Currently playing both trumpet and piano, Nathaniel has been studying music since early elementary school. He studied piano with Professor David Heid, conducting under Dr. Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, and took multiple semesters of composition with Professor Anthony Kelley. Nathaniel was the ensemble pianist and a member of the trumpet section in the Duke Symphony Orchestra, as well as a trumpeter and section leader in the Duke Marching Band. He also served as the Undergraduate Music Department Representative and Trinity Ambassador for the Music Department. Outside of music, Nathaniel served as President of the Duke Actuarial Club, was a member and leader in Reformed University Fellowship, and in his free time enjoys running, biking, and cooking. This fall, Nathaniel will be pursuing a Master’s in Music at the University of Oklahoma for Piano Performance and Pedagogy.

Music Professor David Heid has worked closely with Maxwell as both an instructor and mentor. When notified of this honor, Professor Heid stated:

“It’s truly thrilling that Nathaniel Maxwell has been named the Sudler Prize winner for this year. He is the rare young artist that is both profoundly talented and a disciplined hard worker. In addition to his staggering list of musical accomplishments at Duke, he is also an exceptional young man who has engaged with the Durham community through his music by teaching under-resourced students and accompanying local school choruses and music programs. He is truly the best of what arts education at Duke can be.” — David Heid

About the prize:

Louis Sudler was a Chicago industrialist to whom the arts had been a major source of life satisfaction. In 1982, he endowed an annual prize in the arts at fourteen major universities:  Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Chicago, Michigan State, Oberlin College, Purdue University, Duke, Rice, and Stanford.

At each institution, an annual prize in the creative and performing arts is awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most distinguished record of excellence in performance or creation in one of the following areas:  music, theater, painting, dance, design, film, creative writing, and other areas of the arts (as determined by each institution).

At Duke, each year the Office of Vice Provost for the Arts awards a cash prize of $2,000 to selected recipient. Students do not apply directly for the award but rather are nominated by arts department chairs, who are invited to make one nomination each.