Laura Jackson

2004 Fellow

  • Music Director, Reno Philharmonic

Laura Jackson was appointed music director of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009 and conducts the orchestra’s master classics and pops series. She also maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor with orchestras across the United States and overseas, appearing in recent years with orchestras in Manila, Phoenix, North Carolina, Boca Raton, South Carolina, Reno Ballet, and Modesto, as well as in Atlanta, Detroit, San Antonio, Baltimore, Alabama, Sacramento, Toronto, Berkeley, and with the New World Symphony in Miami.

As music director in Reno, Laura has become known for elevating the quality of the orchestra and maintaining an active presence in the community. She passionately supports the Reno Philharmonic’s educational programs, especially Celebrate Strings, which similar to El Sistema brings regular 4-day-per-week string instruction to underprivileged youth. Laura initiatived the orchestra’s first-ever commissioning program with composer-in-residence Sean Shepherd (now with The Cleveland Orchestra) and conducted the 2011 premieres of both his “Silvery Rills” and “Desert Garden.” She encourages community-based partnerships, most notably the Reno Phil and Nevada Museum of Art’s “Art +Environment” collaboration.

During her three years with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Conductor (2004–07), Laura led numerous performances including Young People’s Concerts, the Symphony 360º Series, Summer Classical Concerts, and two ASO Classical Subscription Series concerts. In 2005 she performed with the Colorado Symphony as winner of the Taki Concordia Fellowship.

Laura has also become an active speaker at business schools, especially for interactive workshops titled “Conducting as Leadership.” Her leadership sessions have become a regular component of the MBA program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony, Laura studied conducting at the University of Michigan with Kenneth Kiesler and attended the Tanglewood Music Center in 2003 as the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow. She has recorded with the Bournemouth Symphony in England as well as the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra.

Photo Credit: Myra Klarman