On Sunday, January 29 at 2 PM, the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church is hosting a Concert for the Cause featuring Jeff Brillhart and Laura Ward. There is no charge, however, attendees may make a free-will donation. 50% of the donations made during the concert will be donated to the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP).Two Piano Concert Poster
Laura Ward has been charming Philadelphia audiences with her powerful, yet sensitive accompanying since arriving in 1998. As a distinguished collaborative pianist, she is known for both her technical ability and vast knowledge of repertoire and styles. Recent engagements include performing in recital with opera diva 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. Additionally, she has performed 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.
Jeffrey Brillhart is Director of Music and Fine Arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA and on the music faculty at Yale University, where he teaches Organ improvisation. He is also Music and Artistic Director of Philadelphia’s famed Singing City Choir. A native of Iowa, his teachers include organists Carl B. Staplin, Arthur Poister, Russell Saunders, and pianist Barbara Lister-Sink. Further studies with Olivier Latry and Philippe Lefebvre in organ improvisation led to his winning first prize in the American Guild of Organists’ National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 1994.
His organ, teaching, and conducting engagements have taken him throughout America, Europe, South Africa, Mexico, and South America, with concerts in Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Moscow, Helsinki, London, Berlin, Leipzig, Capetown, Johannesburg, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Birmingham, Waco, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, Iowa City, Des Moines, and Worcester. He has presented master classes at the Eastman School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, Drake University, Furman University, University of Alabama, University of Iowa, Westminster Choir College, Walla Walla College, and for countless AGO chapters around the United States.
His improvisation textbook, Breaking Free: Finding a Personal Voice for Improvisation through 20th Century French Improvisation Techniques, was published by Wayne Leupold Editions in November 2011 and is in wide use in American and European conservatories. A second textbook was released in June 2018: A World of Possibilities: Master Lessons in Improvisation.