LiaBraaten’s notable accomplishments during the LSU years include completing all requirements for his Doctor of Performance Degree except the dissertation, his studies and concertizing cut short on purpose in order to care for his terminally ill mother.
Other accomplishments during the LSU years include First Prize in the National Federation of Music Club Young Artist , and noteworthy invitations to compete in the World Piano Competition and to serve as Operatic Vocal Coach for the Baton Rouge Opera’s performances of La Boheme.
At LSU LiaBraaten studied Vocal Pedagogy with Dr. Corbelita Estraquillo,specializing in young voices, and Vocal Coaching in Italian, French, German, and Spanish with Metropolitan Opera Soprano Martina Arroyo.
LiaBraaten studied performance with concert artist and now Professor Emeritus Michael Gurt, winner of the very first Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, and also with then Department Chair Dr. Jack Guerry. Maestro Gurt accompanied LiaBraaten with dual Steinway concert grands for LiaBraaten’s Doctoral performance of Beethoven’s Fifth “Emperor Concerto”, a virtuoso piece LiaBraaten would later record with orchestra and release in both video and audio formats.
LiaBraaten’s tours as both classical concert pianist and contemporary music evangelist at this time included a concert on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol, where he met and collaborated with former Governor Jimmie Davis who penned “You Are My Sunshine”.
Other gigs included a concert at Oklahoma State University, a private concert in Cincinnati OH for then Vice President of Proctor and Gamble, corporate gigs for Standard Oil and Mobil and Texaco, and other concert halls and mega-church venues, sharing his inspiring message of empathy, hope, grace, love and humanity.
During the LSU years LiaBraaten collaborated as digital editor and author of liner notes for Centaur Records, an independent compact disc label based in Baton Rouge LA.
LiaBraaten has a Doctor of Performance ABD due to his mother taking ill and becoming comatose, which led the responsible young LiaBraaten to leave his career right at the time he was making an international impact in order to return home to Hibbing MN to care for his terminally ill mother.