Pianist Lara Urrutia of Redlands, California is no stranger to the concert stage. Since the age of eleven she has appeared more than two dozen times as a soloist with symphony orchestras in the Los Angeles area and has performed several hundred solo recitals, appearing in venues such as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Kodak Theater, the Shrine Auditorium, and the Crystal Cathedral. She has been featured on Fox 11’s Good Day LA, and has performed multiple times on the Redlands Bowl stage as competition winner, soloist, and collaborator. As part of the University of Redlands Centennial Celebration in 2007, she was invited to perform Grieg’s Concerto in A minor at the Redlands Bowl with Frank Fetta conducting.
In May of 2002, as grand prize winner in the University of Redlands Solo/Concerto Competition, she performed Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Jon Robertson. Ms. Urrutia has subsequently appeared with the symphony both as concerto soloist with Co Nguyen conducting, and as a member of the orchestra.
In addition to a busy musical life in Southern California, Ms. Urrutia has concertized extensively in the country of Chile. Her most recent two-month South American solo tour was centered in Santiago. She also has given recitals in Mexico, Austria, and Hawaii.
Her recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, released in the spring of 2000, has been broadcasted on air, as well her performance of Copland’s Appalachian Spring as part of the University of Redlands Faculty Chamber ensemble. Her latest recorded collaborative project, on Hymns to Forgotten Moons: Music of Arnold Schoenberg and Anthony Suter, was released in 2010 by Centaur Entertainment label.
Ms. Urrutia has been highly regarded for her dedicated and self-sacrificing work on behalf of needy children. Beginning at age twelve, Ms. Urrutia performed 29 concerts to raise money on behalf of a young friend needing a heart-lung transplant. Her second project was to raise funds for an impoverished ten-year-old child in need of multiple brain surgeries. Through her many concerts she has also assisted in fund-raising for Child Help USA, the Home Mechanical Ventilation Program, and for the City of Hope. Her work came to the attention of the late Congressman Sonny Bono who, along with members of the film industry such as Tom Selleck, Cheryl Ladd, John Stamos, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and others involved in philanthropic endeavors, publicly celebrated her volunteer work. Ms. Urrutia has been honored by Fox TV and KNX News Radio as an outstanding citizen. She also received a special commendation from President Clinton for her note-worth contributions to society.
Valedictorian of her senior class, Ms. Urrutia continued on the path of academic excellence at the University of Redlands where she received both her Bachelor's (’03) and Master's degrees (’06) in Piano Performance. Ms. Urrutia was the first recipient of the Mary Elizabeth Lehigh Endowed Piano Scholarship at the University of Redlands, an award she held for the length of her student days at the University. She studied with Professor Louanne Long from 1996-2006.
Ms. Urrutia is also an accomplished violinist, accordionist, and an award-winning poet. A three-time winner of the Editor’s Choice Award, she has been honored at the International Society of Poets Convention in Washington, D.C. She is a member of Local 47 American Federation of Musicians, and Pi Kappa Lambda, the national honorary music society.
Currently Ms. Urrutia is a member of the faculty at the University of Redlands where she heads the piano accompanying program. She maintains an active performing career in the Southland both as a soloist and collaborative artist. She appears regularly with the principle tubist of the Chicago Symphony, Gene Pokorny, and has collaborated with other current and former principle-chair members of the Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Antonio, Winnipeg, and Beijing Symphonies, concertmaster of the New York City Ballet, London and Berlin Philharmonics, and the English National Opera.