Laura Ward is pianist and Artistic Director of Lyric Fest (www.lyricfest.org), a unique vocal recital series in Philadelphia. As a distinguished collaborative pianist she is known for both her technical ability and vast knowledge of repertoire and styles. Concert engagements have taken her to Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Teatro Colon, the Spoleto Festival (Italy), the Colmar International Music Festival and Saint Denis Festival in France. She has served on the faculty of AlpenKammermusik, The CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster Choir College, The Academy of Vocal Arts, Temple University, Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, Washington Opera, University of Maryland, Music Academy of the West and as the official pianist for the Washington International Competition, the Astral Artists Auditions and for the Marian Anderson Award. Laura is pianist on the recently released Daron Hagen 21st Century Song Cycles on the Naxos label and Lineage with her frequent collaborative partner, Randall Scarlata on the Albany label. Laura is also recording artist and editor of song accompaniments for publisher Hal Leonard, having co-edited: Richard Strauss: 40 Songs, Gabriel Fauré: 50 Songs, and Johannes Brahms: 75 Songs and recorded over 2000 song accompaniments for Hal Leonard Publishing. These volumes help countless singers and pianists experience, learn and enjoy the art song repertoire and also help introduce a world of art song to many who have had little exposure to classical song. A native of Texas, Laura received her Bachelor in Music degree 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 where she was a student of Martin Katz.