Praised for expressivity, virtuosity, and committed playing, Canadian collaborative pianist Laura Loewen has appeared in concerts throughout North America and in Europe, Asia and South America. Dedicated to sharing her passion for ensemble playing and coaching, she is a professor of Collaborative Piano and the Vocal Coach at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. She is a founding faculty artist of VISI (Vancouver International Song Institute), and is also on the faculties of the NUOVA opera training program in Edmonton, Alberta and the Contemporary Opera Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
An extremely versatile pianist, Dr. Loewen has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and chamber ensembles, and is equally comfortable in traditional and contemporary idioms. She has appeared in concert with artists such as Charles Castleman, Tracy Dahl, Wendy Nielsen, Kimberly Barber, Jasper Wood, Eugene Rousseau, and William Bennett. She is a regular recital partner of fellow University of Manitoba faculty members soprano Monica Huisman, baritone Mel Braun, violinist Oleg Pokhanovski, and cellist Minna Rose Chung.
Loewen and duo partner, saxophonist Allen Harrington, have been performing together for more than a decade and are acclaimed for their virtuosic, musical, and electrifying performances. Loewen is also a founding member of The Galileo Trio with Kerry duWors, violin and Mark Rudoff, cello (“an enlightened idea” – Winnipeg Free Press). and Emerado with Rosemarie van der Hooft, mezzo-soprano, and Mel Braun, baritone (“true camaraderie and rapport” – Winnipeg Free Press).
Teaching and mentoring is an important element of Dr. Loewen's career. She shares her love of ensemble playing through teaching at the University of Manitoba, and at summer festivals and masterclasses. Her work as a vocal coach with both professionals and students is characterized by her philosophy of “Passionate Diction”. Her lectures on Diction and Ensemble are a yearly event at VISI, and she has spoken about Diction at NATS events and at Podium, the bi-annual Canadian Choral Conference. Dr. Loewen's articles on “Health and the Collaborative Pianist” and Diction can be found at Sparks and Wiry Cries.
A member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientist, Dr. Loewen has received several grants and awards, including the Rh Award for Creative Work, University of Manitoba; Creative Works Grants, University of Manitoba; a Special Opportunities Grant, Manitoba Arts Council; and grants for commissioning Canadian compositions through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council.
Dr. Loewen holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Accompanying/Coaching from the University of Minnesota, where she was a fellowship student of Margo Garrett and Karl Paulnack.