International performance experience,
a creative, sensitive approach
and passionate commitment in every collaboration
With a career spanning three continents and experience across the arts, Lara moved to Canada following a twenty week residency as the Banff Centre’s Collaborative Pianist and Associate Artist in 2013-2014. She is currently a Doctoral candidate in Collaborative Piano at the University of Toronto, where she was 2014-2015 winner of the 2014 Gwendolyn Koldovsky Accompaniment Prize.
Lara’s research is concerned with the implications of art song sung in translation for a wide range of stakeholders. A small introductory article was just published by the Art Song Foundation of Canada and can be read here - she is also collecting material at @translatingsongs on instagram
Her move to Canada followed seven years of study and performance in London, including a fellowship in Accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music and performances at Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. Lara's undergraduate education was with Susanne Powell at the Australian National University, Canberra.
SongSLAM Toronto - ‘Fontainebleau’ by Bram Gielen sung by Alex Samaras 16 Jan
’Who Am I?’ Alex Samaras at the CMC with Bran Gielen, bass 17 Jan
upcoming Off Centre Music Salon 9 June Russian Ages and Stages
upcoming Tour of Australia and New Zealand with Toronto Children’s Chorus July-August
Tour of Newfoundland with Toronto Children’s Chorus
Off Centre Music Salon performance with Brett Polegato, Joni Henson and Guillermo da Silva at Trinity St Paul’s
DMA Recital 3: ≥1 Corigliano Fern Hill; Brahms Piano Quartet in C minor; Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker (4 hand arrangement); Schumann Fantasie (3rd movement)
Recording with Nimrod Ron, principal tuba of Iceland Symphony (of Fantasia, written especially for him by Israeli composer Daniel Markovich)
Burdock PIANOFEST are you here? with singers Alex Samaras and Catherine Gardner, pianist Helen Becquè and poet/translator Jessica Moore in a performance of duets and readings
DMA recital #2: Schubert Die schöne Müllerin with tenor Charles Sy and artist Scott Leeming
Tour of Spain with Toronto Children's Chorus
Masterclass with Barbara Hannigan, Stratton visitor
DMA recital #1: Under Many A Star with violinist Sheila Jaffè and singers Alex Samaras, Danika Lorèn, Ilana Zarankin and Robin Dann.
Residency at the Banff Centre as Collaborative Pianist for Pedja Muzijevic's Concert As Theatre workshop (projects there included a 9 piano version of Satie's Gymnopedie, playing for a choose-your-own-adventure play, performing a re-arrangement of the Heifetz/Gershwin Preludes for piano, violin and accordion, and Jocelyn Morlock's piece for flute and piano, 'I Conversed With You In A Dream' with Heather Beaty surrounded by bespoke projections created by Jacques Collin.
Performance of Wilberg's Fantasy on Themes From Bizet's Carmen for 2 Pianos, 8 Hands with Steven Philcox, Lydia Wong and Melisande Sinsoulier
Recital with visiting tubist Nimrod Ron
- performance with soprano Jennifer Krabbe, Faculty of Music Noon Hour Recital
- Banff Strings and Wind Masterclass Collaborative Pianist
- evening recital with British cellist Raphael Wallfisch
-University of Toronto alumni Danube cruise - lecture recitals with Dr. Caryl Clark and soprano Danika Lorèn
Lara began learning piano as a four year old with Kathryn Warren of the Hammerklavier Music Studio in Canberra, a foundation to a musical childhood including medieval choral singing, recorder and cello lessons, marimba making workshops and songwriting camps. After exploring other study options and travel abroad, Lara 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 Rachmaninov'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 of a small concert series at a church in Balham 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, violist Steven Dann, clarinettist Yehuda Gilad, collaborative pianists' Bengt Forsberg, Helmut Deutsch, Iain Burnside and Julius Drake, cellist Steven Isserlis and singers Sir Thomas Allen, Yvonne Kenny and Sarah Walker. Lara attended the International Musician's Seminar at Prussia Cove, various courses at the Britten-Pears Masterclasses at Aldeburgh, Malcolm Martineau's Crear Masterclass in Scotland and was a member of Graham Johnson's Young Songmaker's Almanac in 2007. 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 the Australian Chamber Orchestra, cellist Gavriel Lipkind, pianist Ronan O'Hora, steel guitarist Steve Dawson, violinist/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 act Pale Eyes and songwriters including Kashka, 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. Many of these relationships have had opportunity to develop since Lara's move to Toronto.
Lara was 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.
most photography by Gaelle Legrand