Pianist and Co-founding Artistic Director of Lyric Fest, LAURA WARD has been gracing Philadelphia audiences with her powerful, sensitive accompanying since arriving here in 1998. As a distinguished collaborative pianist she is known for both her technical ability and vast knowledge of repertoire and styles. Recent and upcoming engagements include performing in recital with Denyce Graves, and premiering new works for piano, guitar and trombone by Allen Krantz with the New York Philharmonic’s Joseph Alessi. Concert engagements have taken her to Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Spoleto Festival (Italy) and the Colmar International Music Festival and Saint Denis Festival in France. She has served as a vocal coach at The Academy of Vocal Arts, Westminster Choir College, Temple University, Ravinia Festival Stean’s Institute, Washington Opera, University of Maryland, Music Academy of the West and at Cleveland’s Blossom Festival and as the official pianist for the Washington International Competition, the Astral Artists Auditions and for the Marian Anderson Award. Laura is a recording artist and editor of song accompaniments for publisher Hal Leonard having also co-edited: Richard Strauss: 40 Songs, Gabriel Fauré: 50 Songs, and Johannes Brahms: 75 Songs and has recorded over 2000 song accompaniments for Hal Leonard Publishing. These volumes help countless singers and pianists experience, learn and enjoy the art song repertory and also help introduce a world of art song to many who have had little exposure to it. A native of Texas, Laura received her Bachelor’s from Baylor University, holds a Masters in Piano Accompanying at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and a Doctorate in Accompanying from the University of Michigan as a student of Martin Katz. While at the University of Michigan, Laura was pianist for the Contemporary Directions ensemble and performed with the Ann Arbor Symphony.
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