LAURA JACKSON — now in her seventh season as music director
of the Reno Philharmonic — continues to win
praise for her artistry, leadership, innovative programming, and creative community engagement.
Her passion and drive have
helped the Reno Philharmonic in Nevada reach new heights with the commissions of composers Michael Gandolfi (Chesapeake:
Summer of 1814) and Sean Shepherd (Silvery Rills & Desert Garden). In 2014, Laura and the orchestra commissioned and recorded the first-ever orchestral arrangement of the Nevada state song to celebrate Nevada's sesquicentennial. By David Bugli, the arrangement is available for free download and has been performed by school and community orchestras around the state.
In addition to
concerts with the Reno Philharmonic, Ms. Jackson guest conducts nationally and internationally.
In May 2013 she became the first-ever American to lead the Algerian National
Orchestra; other recent engagements include L’Orchestre de Bretagne in France
and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, she recorded Michael
Daugherty’s Time Cycle on Naxos with
the Bournemouth Symphony in partnership with Marin Alsop. In North America, she
has performed with the symphonies of Alabama, Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley,
Detroit, Phoenix, San Antonio, Toledo, Toronto, Windsor, and Winnipeg, among
Ms. Jackson served as the
Assistant Conductor/American Conducting Fellow with the Atlanta Symphony
Orchestra under Robert Spano from 2004 to 2007. Prior to her appointment in
Atlanta, she studied conducting at the University of Michigan with
Kenneth Kiesler and spent summers at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood
Music Center in 2002 and 2003. As the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow at
Tanglewood, she conducted numerous concerts featuring both traditional and
Ms. Jackson spent her
early childhood in Virginia and Pennsylvania before moving at age 11 to
Plattsburgh, NY, where she grew up waterskiing, swimming, and sailing on Lake
Champlain. She fell in love with the violin in public school, later attending the North Carolina School for the Arts to finish high school. She pursued an undergraduate degree at Indiana University where she studied both
violin and conducting before moving to Boston in 1990 to freelance as a
violinist and teach at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She won her
first conducting position in 1992 with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra and served
as music director there until 1998. In 2005, she earned her doctorate in
orchestral conducting from Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, she served as Music
Director of the Life Sciences Orchestra, made up of doctors, researchers,
students, and staff of the university’s life sciences community.