A native of south Florida, Sean Cavanaugh began studying the piano at age eleven. In 2012, he completed his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Florida State University under the guidance of Read Gainsford and Carolyn Bridger. Sean completed his Masters and Doctorate in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he studied with the late Karen Shaw. He completed minors in both Music Theory and Chamber Music. Sean has also had coachings with several other faculty members at Indiana University, including Kevork Mardirossian, Mark Kaplan, Grigory Kalinovky, Mimi Zweig, Brenda Brenner, Steve Wyrczynski, Sung-Mi Im, Lee Phillips, Anne Epperson, and members of the Pacifica Quartet. Sean also spent summers studying at both the Chautauqua Institute and Aspen Music Festival and School. He has appeared in masterclasses with Jerome Lowenthal, Roberto Plano, Ning An, Timothy Hoft, and Simone Dinnerstein, among others.
While at Indiana University, Sean specialized in several large-scale keyboard works, including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Bach’s Goldberg Variations. His final doctoral document detailed the life and works of Samuil Feinberg, a rather unknown Soviet pianist-composer. A frequent performer of chamber music, Sean enjoys performing alongside colleagues in a variety of chamber music settings. Most recent projects include performances of the complete cycle of sonatas for violin and piano by Beethoven, alongside his duo partner Nathaniel Shapiro, and several performances of Florence Price’s Piano Quintet with members of the Eykamp String Quartet.
Previously an Associate Instructor at Indiana University, and a music professor at Vincennes University in southern Indiana, Sean has experience teaching group and private lessons to students of all ages and levels. In his free time, Sean enjoys playing board games with his wife, Kait, and spending time with their two cats, Luka and Minerva.