Laura began her musical studies at age three in the Suzuki program in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. During her time in Saskatoon, she won various prizes in local music festivals, was a three-time national finalist at the Canadian Music Competition, and at age 11 became the youngest member of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for four years. At age 15, she went to study with Mimi Zweig at Indiana University, where she was the youngest graduate in 2003, earning a Bachelor of Music degree with highest honors in Violin Performance. In the fall of 2003, she began her graduate studies at the University of Toronto with Scott St. John, where she was the recipient of several scholarships, and acted as concertmaster of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra during the 2003- 2004 school year. She graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto in June 2005. After graduating, she worked as a freelance musician in Toronto and Montreal before joining the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall of 2007.
Who do you think are or were the masters of your instrument?
There are so many influential Violinists whom I consider masters, it is impossible to include every player, but to name a few, I grew up listening to Heifetz, Menuhin, Rabin, and Perlman, and of the younger generation of soloists, I admire Shaham, Ehnes, Hahn, and Vengerov.
Tell us a little about your instrument.
I play on a French violin made in 1857 by Honore Derazey, and I have been playing this instrument for the past six years.
What kinds of music do you listen to when you’re “off-duty?” What’s currently on your iPod?
I like listening to all sorts of music, and my iPod has lots of variety – a current random playlist would include Beck, Miles Davis, Kim Kashkashian, and any episode of the Ricky Gervais podcast.
How do you prepare for a concert? Any “pre-game” rituals?
I don’t really have any pre-game rituals, although I walk downtown to the Jack Singer Hall for most concerts, and I like to use the time to collect my thoughts and focus on the night’s performance.
How old were you when you started playing?