Campus Mourns Lawrence Campbell
Dr. C. Lawrence Campbell, the Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor
August 3, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Wesleyan University campus mourns the death of Dr.
C. Lawrence Campbell, the Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Piano at Illinois Wesleyan
University, who died July 25.
“We are deeply saddened to lose a long-time member of our Illinois Wesleyan community,”
said President Richard F. Wilson. “Dr. Campbell was an outstanding pianist and performer,
who made many contributions to the University. We mourn his passing.”
A professor of music, piano, piano pedagogy and literature, Dr. Campbell was a member
of the Illinois Wesleyan faculty since 1978. He was named to the Fern Rosetta Sherff
Professorship in 1998, honoring his distinguished teaching, research and service to
“All of the faculty, staff, and students in the School of Music have lost a dear friend,
colleague and teacher,” said Director of the Illinois Wesleyan School of Music Mario
Pelusi. “Larry Campbell was a remarkably gifted pianist and a superb teacher of piano,
whom we – and the music profession in general – will miss deeply.” Friends and colleagues
of Dr. Campbell at the IWU School of Music are planning a memorial concert in his
honor to be scheduled later in fall semester.
A passionate educator, Dr. Campbell served frequently as adjudicator, guest clinician
and lecture recitalist on many university campuses, and conducted master classes for
the Illinois Wesleyan Chamber Music Camp.
Devoted to the development of student musicians, Dr. Campbell judged concerto competitions
for young artists sponsored by the Chicago Symphony and the Des Moines Symphony. When
appearing in concerts at universities around the nation, he conducted master classes
to work with students. He was sought after as a judge for university and civic orchestra
competitions, as well as auditions of the Artist Presentation Society in St. Louis.
When active with the Music Teachers’ National Association (MTNA), Dr. Campbell conducted
master classes at various state conventions and also judged divisional and state competitions.
An artist who performed throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain, Dr.
Campbell was a true believer in the art of performance. He lamented those who preferred
to listen to CDs of music rather than hear it live. “The audience is actually part
of the performance. [It gives] the sense that you’re there, that this is happening
now and that it will never happen again,” he said in a 2003 interview. “In life, we
like to be where something is happening, not where things are so predictable.”
As a performer, Dr. Campbell professed a marked affinity for the works of Mozart,
Schubert, Beethoven and Liszt. In 1986, the centenary of Liszt’s death, Dr. Campbell
presented more than 30 recitals devoted exclusively to the music of that composer.
In that year, he was the featured artist at recitals of the Beethoven Society at the
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and at conventions of the Missouri Music
Teachers’ Association and the Wisconsin Music Teachers’ Association.
Dr. Campbell held degrees from Northwestern University and Indiana University, where
he was awarded a doctorate of music degree with the highest distinction. He studied
under such pianists as Pauline Manchester Lindsey, Gyorgy Sebok and Alfonso Montecino.
A celebrated artist who held many distinctions, Dr. Campbell was named a winner or
finalist in several national competitions, including the Chicago Young Artists’ Competition,
the Allied Arts Piano Competition, the Talman Musical Arts Competition and the international
auditions of the Artists’ Advisory Council.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960