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Famed violinist and conductor Jaime Laredo to join IU School of Music faculty

April 29, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Grammy-winning violinist and conductor Jaime Laredo has been appointed to the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music, it was announced today (April 29).

Laredo, a pupil and friend of the late IU Distinguished Professor Josef Gingold, has performed worldwide for more than 40 years as a soloist, conductor, recitalist and chamber musician. He is the second faculty member appointed to the school through the university's "Commitment to Excellence" program, which is helping the school add four eminent master teachers. Fellow Grammy winner and celebrated pianist André Watts was the school's first "Commitment to Excellence" appointment in 2004.

Laredo, who has taught at the Curtis Institute of Music since 1971, will assume a chaired position at IU. His wife, Sharon Robinson, an acclaimed cellist, winner of the Avery Fisher Recital Award and Grammy nominee, also will join the school's faculty. Laredo and Robinson are members of the celebrated Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, winner of Musical America's "Ensemble of the Year" in 2002.

Local audiences might know Laredo from his association with the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, which Gingold founded in 1982. He has served since 1994 as jury president for the competition, which is held every four years and continues to attract the world's most gifted violinists and distinguished jurors.

"Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, both collectively and individually, are a significant and invaluable force in the international world of music," said School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards. "Given their existing relationship with the Indianapolis Violin Competition, a new relationship with Indiana University is a wonderful fit for the state, for the university and for the students and faculty of the School of Music."

Lawrence Hurst, chair of the school's String Department, said: "The appointment of Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson to the School of Music faculty represents an enormous addition to the prestige and luster of the already world-class faculty of the strings department. When the department discussed the possibility of having Jaime and Sharon to Bloomington as colleagues, the reaction was instantaneous and overwhelmingly positive. We look forward with great anticipation to welcoming this truly internationally-acclaimed musical couple to Bloomington."

Robinson, Sharon
Sharon Robinson
Print-Quality Photo

Born in Bolivia, Laredo began playing the violin at age 5 and made his orchestral debut at age 11 with the San Francisco Symphony. As a young boy, his education and development were greatly influenced by private coaching with several master musicians, including Gingold, who died in 1995. At age 17, he became the youngest winner of the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition, launching his rise to international prominence.

Laredo plays regularly with many of the nation's major orchestras, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Philadelphia, and at most of the major music festivals. Abroad, he has performed as a soloist or conductor with the London Symphony, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which he led on two American tours and in its Hong Kong Festival Debut. Additionally, he maintains a busy chamber music schedule as a member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. The trio made its debut in January 1977 at the White House during President Carter's inauguration.

Laredo has amassed nearly 100 recordings, received the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize and earned seven Grammy Award nominations. He won the Grammy Award for "Best Chamber Music Performance" in 1971 for Brahms: Piano Quartets (Opp. 25 and 26), which he recorded with frequent chamber music collaborators Emanuel Ax, Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma.

He is director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of the Brandenberg Ensemble and artistic director of New York's renowned "Chamber Music at the Y" series, which has become an important forum for chamber music performances. Additionally, he has led the annual New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall.

Local audiences will have the opportunity to see Laredo in his conducting role at the School of Music's Summer Music Festival. On June 30, he will direct the Beaux Arts Trio -- featuring IU Distinguished Professor Menahem Pressler -- and Festival Orchestra in a rendition of Beethoven's Triple Concerto. The concert, which will be held at the Musical Arts Center, will celebrate 50 years of performance by the legendary trio.

Born into a musical family -- her father was a bass player, her mother a violinist and all of her siblings are string players -- Robinson has performed with many of the world's premier orchestras. As winner of the Avery Fisher Recital Award, she appeared on Lincoln Center's "Great Performers" series and gave the premiere of Ned Rorem's After Reading Shakespeare, a work she commissioned and later performed on The Dick Cavett Show.

She has made numerous television appearances, including on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Kennedy Center Honors on CBS and a profile on CBS Sunday Morning. She received a Grammy nomination for a recording of Brahms string sextets with Laredo, Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin, Michael Tree and Yo-Yo Ma.

To speak to Laredo or Robinson, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or rpiurek [at] indiana [dot] edu (rpiurek@indiana.edu) , or Alain Barker, IU School of Music, at 812-856-5719 or abarker [at] indiana [dot] edu (abarker@indiana.edu) .