Laura Elizabeth Bruton passed peacefully at home in Argyle, Texas following a battle with ovarian cancer on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at age 59. She was born in 1960 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Laura was the youngest of three children and was a 1978 graduate of Hickory High School of Hickory, North Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 1983 where she studied violin with Elaine Richey and viola with Sally Peck. Laura also attended the St. Louis Conservatory of Music for graduate school where she was a student of Michael Tree of the Guarneri String Quartet. She joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as a section violist in 1985 and won the position of Principal Violist in 1988 and served in this position for over thirty years until her death in 2019. Laura taught orchestral viola repertoire and style for many years as Adjunct Professor of Viola at the University of North Texas College of Music.
She was a prolific and talented musician who performed extensively with many of North Texas’ chamber music ensembles including the Wyeth String Quartet, Fine Arts Chamber Players, Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth, Spectrum, Hall Ensemble, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra String Quartet. Laura recorded the complete piano quartets of Johannes Brahms with the Clementi Quartet on the Encore label. Also, she performed with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra and Chorus of St. Louis, Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, Piedmont Chamber Orchestra, Piedmont Chamber Players, and Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. Laura also served as Principal Violist of the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra.
She lived life with a passion for music and her family. Laura spent her free time and enjoyed traveling with them to Colorado and the family beach house in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She was a loving wife and mother of three children. Laura was preceded in death by her mother Martha Bruton, her father Henry Bruton, and her brother Eric Bruton. She is survived by her husband Donald Little, her brother Craig Bruton, her daughter Grace Little, her son Nathan Little, her son Oren Bruton, her daughter-in-law Rita Bruton, and grandson Enrique Bruton.
For those who knew and loved Laura, a Celebration of Life will be held in her name at the Village Church in Denton, Texas on April 6, 2019 from 2-4pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations may be made to the Laura Bruton Tribute Gift Fund of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and/or to the Laura Elizabeth Bruton Viola Scholarship at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.