2007 winner of the van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Amateurs
Drew Mays was granted a full scholarship to the University of Alabama School of Music where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1982 with summa cum laude honors while studying with Amanda Penick, chair of the piano department. He continued his studies at the Conservatory for Music in Hanover, Germany studying with Bernd Goetzke, a pupil of Arturo Michelangeli; then moved to New York City and began a Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Nina Svetlanova.His Master's degree was completed at the University of Alabama again with Amanda Penick in 1987. His formal debut was in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the first prize winner of the Young Keyboard Artists‚ Competition.
After completion of his musical training, Dr. Mays attended the University of Alabama School of Medicine from 1987 until 1991. He served his residency at UAB in the Department of Ophthalmology. His residency was followed by a fellowship specializing in glaucoma at the University of Florida. Currently he practices in Birmingham with a faculty appointment at UAB within the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital. He also has a private clinical practice.
Dr. Mays returned to playing the piano in 2002 after a 15-year absence. He was awarded second prize in the 2006 Rocky Mountain Amateur Piano Competition. In 2007, he was awarded first prize in the Van Cliburn International Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. Since winning the Van Cliburn competition, he has played across the country, including engagements in Washington, D.C at the Smithsonian Institute, in Oakland, California, at his alma mater, the University of Alabama and in his hometown of Birmingham. He received a tribute by Senator Jeff Sessions addressed to the President and entered into the Congressional log. Senator Sessions acknowledged Dr. Mays' accomplishments in medicine and music and recognized him as an outstanding citizen of the state of Alabama. He and his wife, Dr. Therese Mays, MD live in Birmingham and have four children.
In The News:
Doc wins Cliburn Amateur
CLASSICAL MUSIC: Non-pro pianists shine in Fort Worth
01:37 PM CDT on Monday, June 4, 2007
By SCOTT CANTRELL / Classical Music Critic FORT WORTH Dr. Drew Mays, an ophthalmologist from Birmingham, Ala., took the $2,000 first prize Sunday evening in the Van Cliburn Foundation’s Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. In the competition’s final round, held Sunday afternoon at Texas Christian University’s Ed Landreth Auditorium, Dr. Mays played Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata and the Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1.The $1,500 second prize went to Mark Fuller, an attorney from Phoenix, Ariz. The $1,000 third prize went to Clark Griffith, a composer and retired Internet technology administrator from Fort Worth.The Cliburn-sponsored competition defines an amateur pianist as someone who doesn’t make a living as either a performing pianist or piano teacher. Many of the 75 contestants who started out on Monday, including Dr. Mays, have advanced training in piano but have pursued other fields of work, ranging from railroad manager to psychotherapist. As usual, medical professionals were generously represented.While professional piano competitions focus on players under age 30, the Cliburn Amateur has 35 as its minimum age. This year’s contestants came from Italy, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela and Australia as well as the United States.Most of the prizes were awarded by a jury dominated by pianists (including four past gold medalists of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition). In picking the winners, these jurors were asked to consider the finalists’ performances in preliminary and semifinal rounds as well.A press jury prize, voted by a separate panel of music journalists from New York to Portland, Ore. (and including this writer) was based on the final round only.Hosted by Steve Cumming, the Sunday-evening festivities included two-piano, eight-hands performances by Cliburn medalists Olga Kern, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Jon Nakamatsu and Jos?© Feghali of the waltz from Gounod’s Faust and Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever.Prizes were presented by Cliburn Foundation president Richard Rodzinski, chairman Alann Bedford Sampson, jury chairman John Giordano and Mr. Cliburn himself. The first prize was named in honor of Mr. Rodzinski, recognizing his two decades at the foundation’s helm. Dr. Mays also won:
Best performance of a work from the romantic era: Dr. Mays Audience Award: Dr. Mays