Maude Puddy Prize for Piano

Maude Puddy

Maude Puddy, circa 1920
Photograph courtesy of State Library of South Australia, PRG 243/1/2

In 1954, £500 was paid to the University by a committee of former students of Maude Puddy, a teacher of pianoforte at the Elder Conservatorium from 1919 to 1949, for the purpose of founding a scholarship in piano in her honour.

The prize is valued at $600 and is awarded on the recommendation of the Director of the Elder Conservatorium to a student of piano at the Elder Conservatorium.

Maude Mary Puddy (1883-1974) was one of the first students to graduate from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and certainly one of its more remarkable.

Maude was the third daughter of Mr Albert Puddy of Brompton, where she was born in 1883. She began to learn the piano when nearly eight years of age and made her first appearance at the Public Schools Exhibition in pianoforte playing of 1893. On that occasion the first, second and third prizes were rearranged as two first-class prizes and of those she received one. In the following year, she carried off the only first prize awarded. Miss Puddy secured first-class passes in pianoforte playing at the Junior and Senior Exhibitions at the University of Adelaide.

In 1895 she became a pupil of E. G. Reimann (piano) and Harold Davies (composition). Maude was the first person to qualify for the diploma and graduated Mus. Bac. in 1905. After graduation Maude travelled for fourteen years abroad. In London she studied under Busoni and in Vienna under Leschetizky. After a successful début in the Bösendorfer Salle—Maude gave concerts in Vienna and Berlin—she became one of his student teachers. Leschetizky dedicated his Valse Prelude (op. 49, no 2) to her. Fellow students included the famous pianists Ignaz Friedman, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Wilhelm Backhaus and Artur Schnabel.

In 1913 Maude went to London. She spent World War I in England, teaching and giving concerts for the troops and fund-raising recitals for the British Red Cross Society. She returned to Adelaide in 1920 to teach piano at the Elder Conservatorium. Maude played on radio and with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and her prowess and popularity as soloist, and particularly as a player of chamber music in Adelaide and interstate, drew enthusiastic reviews. Her work has been perpetuated by her students who have taught all over Australia. She edited two books for piano by Professor E. H. Davies: The Children's Bach (1933) and Bach: 18 Short Works.
Maude became a teacher of piano at the Elder Conservatorium of Music from 1919-1949, where she was much loved by her students. She was well-known both locally and interstate as a soloist and in chamber music.

Further reading: University of Adelaide Lumen article (Summer 2013 Issue)
The Maude Puddy Prize for Piano Rules

For a confidential discussion about how you can give in memory or celebration, please contact the Development team on +61 8 8313 5800 or