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She once made national headlines for traveling the highways and backroads of the U.S. and Canada with a Steinway grand piano in tow to perform for towns and villages with populations ranging from 50 to 250.
In addition to introducing some of the Northern Hemisphereâ€™s most rural outposts to the beauty and joy of classical music, Laura Spitzer has performed at prestigious concert halls all over the globe.
Now, the classically trained pianist is making a stop in the Owens Valley as a return guest of the Bishop Community Concert Association, presenting its second offering of the 2010-11 season on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Spitzer is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy Joseph Auditorium at Bishop Union High School.
No stranger to Bishop, Spitzer has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Austria and Germany.
She famously traveled by truck with her Steinway in tow from 1984 to 2003, bringing classical music to rural communities and schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Spitzer is Associate Professor of Piano at New Mexico State University, where she teaches piano-related subjects in addition to courses in ear training, form and analysis, and Medieval, Renaissance and Classical period music history.
Prior to coming to NMSU in fall 2000, she was a touring concert pianist for 16 years. She has performed under contract with the Bishop Community Concert Association, and appeared with symphonies such as the Los Angeles Concordia Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic, the Nevada Symphony and the Owensboro Symphony.
The recipient of four touring grants from the Nevada State Council on the Arts and the Nevada Humanities Committee, Spitzer traveled with her Steinway grand packed into her truck from 1984 to 2003, bringing classical music to hundreds of rural communities and schools throughout the U.S. and western Canada. In recognition of this contribution, she was honored with the 1986 Nevada Governorâ€™s Arts Award. She has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, NBC Sunday Today and The West nationwide, and in such publications as People, Time, Readerâ€™s Digest, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Piano and Keyboard, Clavier and Overdrive.
Spitzer attended Oberlin Conservatory for one year, 1970-71, and completed her undergraduate studies with Hans Leygraf at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where she was awarded the BĂ¶sendorfer Stipend and graduated with distinction in 1976. After touring with the Austrian Ensemble for New Music, recording numerous programs for Austrian Radio and taking first prize at the Kurt Leimer Competition, she earned her Masterâ€™s Degree at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore in 1979.
She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree with John Perry in 2000 at the University of Southern California, where she served as Assistant Lecturer of Keyboard Studies and received the departmentâ€™s teaching award in 1991.
Spitzer served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for five years, and has conducted master classes and workshops at colleges, conventions and summer camps throughout the U.S. She teaches each year at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program in Idyllwild.
For more information on Tuesdayâ€™s concert, contact Mary Mae at (760) 873-6690 or visit www.bishopcca.org.