Australian pianist Lara Dodds-Eden brings dynamic energy, international performance experience and creative leadership to every project.
Following a twenty week residency as the Banff Centre’s Collaborative Pianist and Associate Artist in 2013-2014, Lara moved to Canada to commence doctoral studies with Lydia Wong at the University of Toronto. Winner of the 2014 Gwendolyn Koldovsky Accompaniment Prize, Lara performed with soprano Jennifer Krabbe in the Faculty of Music’s Noon Hour Recital Series in April, performed with great British cellist Raphael Wallfisch in Banff in July and recently returned from performing on a Danube cruise with soprano Danika Lorèn.
Other significant collaborations since her Toronto move have included a performance of Peter Maxwell-Davies’ Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot with Stacie Dunlop at Gallery 345, accompanying folk-pop-tronica artist Kashka at the Drake Hotel, recording and performances with songwriters Benjamin Hermann and Dana Sipos and appearances at the Arts and Letters Club with sopranos Christina Haldane and Danika Lorèn. Lara was also recently nominated for 'Best Original Work' in the 2015 Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) Awards for her original music for The Fairytale Channel, a children's theatre piece produced at Smith's Alternative Bookshop in 2014 by Kirsty Budding of Budding Theatre.
Lara began her career as a four year old with Kathryn Warren of the Hammerklavier Music Studio in Canberra, and this formed a foundation to a richly musical childhood, including medieval and renaissance choral singing, recorder and cello lessons, marimba making workshops and songwriting camps. After exploring other study options and travel abroad, she returned to Canberra to commit to piano studies and graduated from the Australian National University’s School of Music as the University Medallist and as a multiple performance prize-winner. Whilst still a student she performed with prominent Australian artists such as cellists David Pereira and Julian Smiles, violinist Barbara Jane Gilby and singers Stephen Bennett and Louise Page. As a concerto soloist, she performed with the ANU Symphony Orchestra under conductor Max McBride, and as an ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers' Award Keyboard Finalist in 2006, she performed with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under conductor Arvo Volmer. In 2007 she performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Sydney Sinfonia under conductor Richard Gill. Their performances in Bankstown and at Angel Place Recital Hall, Sydney, were recorded and broadcast on ABC Classic FM as part of Sinfonia’s ‘Discovery’ Series.
In 2006 Lara was offered a full scholarship to continue her music studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where she specialised in piano accompaniment with Caroline Palmer, and completed three years of postgraduate study, including a final year as an Accompaniment Fellow. Lara made her home in London until 2013, working across the UK and in Europe as a freelance chamber musician and song accompanist, as Artistic Director of the Paxos Autumn Chamber Music Festival and as a piano teacher to both private pupils and to students at Kings School, Canterbury.
During her time in London Lara appeared in recital with singers and instrumentalists at venues including Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, the Barbican, the Royal Opera House Crush Room, St. John’s Smith Square, St. James’ Piccadilly and LSO St Lukes. Lara has performed in masterclasses or taken lessons with eminent musicians including the Beaux Arts Trio's Menahem Pressler and Bernard Greenhouse, violinist of the Brentano Quartet Mark Steinberg, Toronto Art of Time Ensemble's Artistic Director Andrew Burashko, violist Steven Dann, clarinettist Yehuda Gilad, collaborative pianists' Bengt Forsberg, Malcolm Martineau, Graham Johnson, Helmut Deutsch, Iain Burnside and Julius Drake, cellist Steven Isserlis and singers Sir Thomas Allen, Yvonne Kenny and Sarah Walker. Lara performed at the Paxos Autumn Chamber Music Festival in Greece in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and from 2010 until 2013 she was the Artistic Director.
Lara’s collaboration with British violist Rosalind Ventris met with considerable success, the pair appearing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2011, at Wigmore Hall courtesy of the Kirckmann Concert Society in 2012, and in 2013 at the Aldeburgh Festival, the Bratislava Philharmonic and at Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, as part of a wider tour of Holland with The International Holland Music Sessions ‘Young Masters on Tour’. The duo were also members of the Live Music Now! Scheme, performing across Britain in care homes, schools for children with special needs and hospitals.
In July 2013 Lara was selected as one of eight collaborative pianists at the Banff Centre’s Summer Masterclasses for Strings and Wind. In addition to working with participants in the viola, clarinet and horn classes she gave a recital with international violist and Banff faculty member, Gilad Karni. She was invited to return to the centre as the resident collaborative pianist for the fall and winter residencies, and during that time she performed with international artists including theAustralian Chamber Orchestra, cellist Gavriel Lipkind, pianist Ronan O'Hora, steel guitarist Steve Dawson, violin/violist Cecilia Bercovich, composers Tilman Robinson, Andre Mestre, Kim Sherman, Ricky Ian Gordon and Mark Sabat, oboist Andrew Nogal, sopranos Ilana Zarankin and Julia Fox, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and instrument maker Catherine Thompson, electro-pop duo Pale Eyes and songwriters including FamiliarWild, isKwé, Benjamin Hermann and Dana Sipos. A highlight of the twenty weeks was a performance of Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives as soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in an arrangement by Barshai/Tognetti.