Interim Artistic Director and Co-Concertmaster
LAURA HAMILTON has been concertmaster for Classical Tahoe since the festival’s inception in 2012. Recently retired from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where she was Principal Associate Concertmaster, Laura led hundreds of performances at the Met over 33 years. She was concertmaster for many of the Met’s popular “Live in HD” videocasts, including Carmen, Parsifal, Turandot, Faust, Salome, and Madama Butterfly. Previously a member of the Chicago Symphony, she appeared with that orchestra as concerto soloist with Maestro Sir Georg Solti. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laura is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, where she was the Nathan Milstein Scholarship recipient. She has performed in the Marlboro, Manchester, and Bard Music Festivals, in summer festivals in Norway and Greece, and on the Met Chamber Ensemble series at Carnegie Hall. She also leads the orchestra and teaches at Festival Napa Valley. She appeared as guest concertmaster for the Seattle Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Welsh National Opera, and the Adelaide Symphony in Australia. In 2014, while on leave from the MET, Laura served for one season as concertmaster at the Sydney Opera House. A highlight of her Sydney experience was a gala concert with famed tenor Jonas Kaufmann; her rendition of Massenet’s Meditation from Thais garnered rave reviews praising her “radiant,” “serenely beautiful interpretation.” Her instrument was made in Venice in 1732 by the golden-age luthier, Carlo Tononi.
Laura Hamilton teaches violin and chamber music at New York University. She has been visiting faculty at New World Symphony, Manhattan School of Music, and at Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy. Laura and her husband, cellist Lanny Paykin, reside in Oakland, New Jersey.
From Laura: “I had the privilege of working with Joel Revzen as concertmaster in four different summer festivals since 2001, and our close collaboration and friendship grew hand-in-hand. His artistic and personal leadership here at Classical Tahoe was a driving passion and guiding light over the past nine years. We loved him. We miss him. We continue to play great music with his loving spirit near to our hearts.”
Concertmaster Laura Hamilton’s appearance and leadership are generously supported by Steven and Florence Goldby.