“My friend and colleague, Soh-Hyun Park Altino, is a rare jewel of a teacher and human being. I got to know Soh-Hyun when she was a professor in Memphis, and I am very excited to visit her in her new position and to interact with the students and professors in the School Of Music,” says Ms. Smukler.
- Friday, Nov. 18, 6:30 PM, Morphy Hall: Violin Master Class. At the conclusion of the class, there will be a Q & A session on college and professional auditions.
- Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 AM, Morphy Hall: Chamber Music Master Class.
- Saturday, Nov. 19, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall: Laurie Smukler in Recital.
On the program:
Prokofiev, Sonata for two violins, Op. 56
Ralph Vaughan Williams, The Lark Ascending
Brahms, Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108
All events are free and open to the public.
Admired for her vivid musical intensity and the beauty of her sound, Laurie Smukler is an artist who is active as soloist and recitalist, as well as being a much sought after chamber musician. Growing up in Cleveland, she began her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, with pedagogue Margaret Randall. She started performing early, winning local competitions, and playing as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra at the age of fourteen. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Ivan Galamian. Other teachers who had a powerful influence on her development have been Josef Gingold, Donald Weilerstein, and Robert Mann.
Ms. Smukler’s performing career has been multi-faceted. As a soloist, she won several competitions at a young age, such as the Erie Philharmonic, Cleveland Philharmonic and Hudson Valley competitions., as well as Young Concert Artists Auditions with the Mendelssohn String Quartet. She has performed with many regional and national orchestras over the years. In 2013, she played the Shulamit Ran Violin Concerto with the Mannes Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall. This January she will perform it again at the Cleveland Institute of Music with the CIM Orchestra. As a recitalist, she plays regularly in New York, and has played in many major centers, like Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Houston and Memphis. . She is often an invited guest to present master classes at conservatories and music schools across the country, such as the Shepherd School of Rice University, Peabody Conservatory, the University of Michigan, the University of Tennessee at Memphis, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Oberlin College.
As the original and founding first violinist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, she spent eight years with that group, traveling and performing internationally. She also performed and toured as the first violinist of two school affiliated string quartets; the Bard Festival String Quartet and the Purchase Faculty String Quartet. She has performed and toured with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, and Music From Marlboro. With her husband, violist Ira Weller, she directed and performed in the respected series “The Collection in Concert”, at the Pierpont Morgan Library for over ten years. In that series the programming explored the original manuscripts housed in the Library’s collection. Ms. Smukler collaborated with many great artists in that series, including Dawn Upshaw and James Levine, Phylis Bryn Julson, and Peter Serkin. She continues to collaborate frequently with esteemed colleagues in varied chamber ensembles, including, duo and trio performances with cellist Joel Krosnick and, until his death this fall, pianist Seymour Lipkin. Canadian pianist Jane Coop has been a longtime duo partner. Performances with fellow faculty colleague, pianist Robert McDonald, began over 30 years ago. They are collaborating again this season with recitals of Bartok’s violin and piano duos. Laurie Smukler plays regularly at the chamber music series, Da Camera of Houston, and Capitol Concerts in Montpelier Vermont.
Laurie Smukler is a dedicated and passionate teacher. In addition to her appointment to the faculty of the Juilliard School in 2013, she is a respected member of the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, the Conservatory of Music at Bard College, and until recently, Mannes College. She also spent 18 years as a Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Purchase College Conservatory of Music; ten of those years as Head of the String Department. Ms. Smukler also teaches and performs at the prestigious Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival and School in Blue Hill, Maine. She has been on the faculty there since 1997. This December, she was named its Interim Artistic Director.
She has been an invited guest at many other summer festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Marlboro Festival, ChamberMusic Northwest, the Bard Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, Music Mountain and the Mount Desert Island Festival.
Laurie Smukler also has a particular interest in contemporary music and has premiered works by many composers including Richard Wernick, Ned Rorem, Morton Subotnik, Steven Paulus, Shulamit Ran, and Bruce Adolphe. Ms. Smukler plays a Petrus Guarnerius violin made in Venice in 1738 and has recorded for Music Masters.
Read about a master class given by Ms. Smukler in 2015.