Larissa Mapua


Hometown: Acworth, GA

Alma maters: DePaul University, B.M. 2014–16; Indiana University, M. M. 2016–18

Photos by Matt Dine


Awards/competitions: 2011 Rose Thomas Smith Award, National Federation of Music Clubs

Appearances: National Music Festival at Washington College, 2016; National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute Festival, 2015; Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, 2014; Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, 2013; Brevard Music Center, 2011

What is your earliest memory of classical music? My earliest memory of classical music is my first piano lesson with my late teacher Virginia Baccay. I was six years old and very excited to get my first piano books. She used to give me candy after lessons and I was very into that, too. Some of the songs in my books had lyrics. One of the first right-hand songs I learned had lyrics from an old saying about the days of the month. It went, “Thirty days has September, April, June and November—All the rest have thirty-one—February has twenty-eight.” To this day, I still sing it in my head sometimes towards the end of the month to figure out my life, in the labored rhythm of the piano songbook.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? Playing Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony at Indiana University under the baton of Carl St. Clair. It’s one of my favorite pieces!

Favorite non-classical musician or band: These days, my favorite band is Beach House. I also perpetually listen to Ella Fitzgerald. But more specifically, the best song of all time is definitely “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. I heard it on karaoke at Filipino parties in the ’90s a lot, so it makes me nostalgic.

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Organ

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? I always thought it would be cool to be a pilot. Or maybe a vegetable farmer. The piano teacher I mentioned earlier, Virginia Baccay, and my high school orchestra director, Paula Krupiczewicz, both convinced my parents to let me major in music and attend schools out-of-state. So I have those two amazing people to thank that I am a musician today!