LORI LAITMAN (b 1955 )
Lori Laitman has composed multiple operas and choral works, and hundreds of songs setting texts by classical and contemporary poets, including those who perished in the Holocaust. Her music is widely performed, including at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Recital Hall, the Concertgebouw and Wigmore Hall, among many others, and has generated substantial critical acclaim.
In May 2016, Opera Colorado presented the world premiere of Laitman’s opera The Scarlet Letter, with a libretto by David Mason. The 2017 Naxos release of the live recording was highly praised by Gramophone magazine, awarded a Critic’s Choice by Opera News and was named one of the top five albums of 2018 by Fanfare magazine. Laitman and Mason also collaborated on Vedem, a Holocaust-themed oratorio commissioned and premiered by Music of Remembrance, a new production of which will be mounted by Indianapolis Opera in April 2020. Their collaboration will continue with Ludlow, an opera-in-progress which explores the US immigrant experience through the lens of the 1914 Colorado mining town disaster.
The Three Feathers, Laitman’s children’s opera with librettist Dana Gioia, is based on a Grimms’ fairy tale, and was commissioned by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, where it premiered in October 2014. Seattle Opera commissioned an abridged version of the work, which toured Washington State in 2018. The Hartt School premiered the orchestral abridged version in January 2019, L’arietta Singapore will present the international premiere in November 2019, and Opera Steamboat will mount a full production in August 2020.
Uncovered, Laitman’s opera-in-progress with librettist Leah Lax, based on her memoir, was a finalist for the 2018 Pellicciotti Opera Prize and is now being commissioned by a consortium of colleges to premiere in the spring of 2021.
Laitman continues to receive prestigious commissions, including from the BBC, Opera America, Opera Colorado, Seattle Opera, Grant Park Music Festival, Washington Master Chorale, Virginia Choral Society, Alexandria Choral Society, Music of Remembrance, The Howard Hanson Institute for American Music, The Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Her works have been featured on Thomas Hampson’s Song of America radio series and website, and in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. Laitman is a magna cum laude Yale graduate and received her Master of Music from the Yale School of Music. In May 2018, Laitman was the recipient of the Yale School of Music’s Ian Mininberg Alumni Award for Distinguished Service.