B.M., M.M., University of Redlands
D.M.A., University of Southern California
Solo & Collaborative Piano
Early Music & Performance Practice
Debuting as soloist with orchestra at age eleven, pianist Lara Urrutia has appeared over a dozen times with symphony orchestras in the Los Angeles region. As soloist, collaborator, and competition winner, Dr. Urrutia has given several hundred performances in venues across the southland including the Los Angeles Music Center, the Kodak Theater, the Crystal Cathedral, the Shrine Auditorium, and abroad at the Rioja Palace in Viña del Mar, Chile, where she has concertized extensively. In addition to her busy musical life in Southern California, Dr. Urrutia has also performed in Austria, Mexico, and in Hawaii, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
She has appeared numerous times in concert with principle tubist of the Chicago Symphony, Gene Pokorny, and has collaborated with other current and former principle-chair members of major orchestras including the Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Antonio, Winnipeg, and Beijing Symphonies, the New York City Ballet, the English National Opera, and the London, Vienna, and Berlin Philharmonics. Dr. Urrutia has also worked closely with composers Gunther Schuller, Libby Larsen, Joan Tower, and Eric Ewazen whose work she premiered along with trombonist Jeremy Wilson at the 2017 International Trombone Festival.
Her recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, released by Gold Label in the spring of 2000, as well her performance of Copland’s Appalachian Spring with the University of Redlands Faculty Chamber ensemble have been broadcasted live on air. Dr. Urrutia, who has been featured on Fox Channel 11’s Good Day LA., can also be heard on Hymns to Forgotten Moons: Music of Arnold Schoenberg and Anthony Suter released in 2010 by Centaur Entertainment label.
Dedicated to engaging with those outside of academia, Dr. Urrutia’s latest research in music teaching and learning focuses on music activity within the populations of homeless adolescents and incarcerated women. She has been highly regarded for her work on behalf of children. At age twelve, she performed 29 benefit concerts to raise money for a young friend in need of a heart-lung transplant; her second project raised funds for another child needing multiple brain surgeries. Through her many performances she has also assisted in fund-raising for Child Help USA, the Home Mechanical Ventilation Program, and the City of Hope. Her work came to the attention of the late Congressman Sonny Bono who, along with members of the film industry including Tom Selleck, Cheryl Ladd, John Stamos, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and others involved in philanthropic endeavors, publicly celebrated her volunteer efforts. Dr. Urrutia has been honored by KNX News Radio as an outstanding citizen, and by Child Help USA as Sweetheart of the Year for her volunteer work. In 1996, she received a special commendation from President Clinton for her note-worthy contributions to society.
Dr. Urrutia graduated with honors from USC’s Thornton School of Music with a performance degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts, an academic field in Music Teaching and Learning, and minor fields both in Early Music and Arts Leadership. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Redlands where she studied with Louanne Long, and with Cordelia Hoffer at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. At USC, she studied Keyboard Collaborative Arts with Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Alan L. Smith, harpsichord with Lucinda Carver, and Early Music with Adam and Rotem Gilbert.
In addition to maintaining a highly active performing career in the southland, Dr. Urrutia currently heads the collaborative piano department at the University of Redlands School of Music where she has served on the piano faculty since 2007. Equally passionate about education, she received an Outstanding Teaching award from the university in 2013. Aside from piano and harpsichord, Dr. Urrutia is also an accomplished violinist, accordionist, and an award-winning poet. She is a member of Local 47 American Federation of Musicians, Pi Kappa Lambda, the national honorary music society, and Phi Kappa Phi, the national all-discipline honor society.