An official biography, suitable for programs. Updated August 2016.
Described by Fanfare Magazine as “one of the most talented and intriguing of living composers,” Lori Laitman has composed multiple operas and choral works, and over 250 songs, setting texts by classical and contemporary poets (including those who perished in the Holocaust). Her music is widely performed, internationally and throughout the United States, and has generated substantial critical acclaim. The Journal of Singing wrote “It is difficult to think of anyone before the public today who equals her exceptional gifts for embracing a poetic text and giving it new and deeper life through music.”
Opera Colorado presented the World Premiere of Laitman’s opera The Scarlet Letter in May 2016. Laura Claycomb, Dominic Armstrong and Malcolm MacKenzie starred in a production directed by Beth Greenberg and conducted by Ari Pelto. The libretto, based on the Hawthorne classic, is by Colorado’s former Poet Laureate, David Mason. Laitman and Mason also collaborated on Vedem, a Holocaust oratorio commissioned by Music of Remembrance, and are developing the opera Ludlow, based on Mason’s award-winning verse novel about the 1914 Colorado mining town disaster.
The Three Feathers, Laitman’s children’s opera with librettist Dana Gioia, is based on a Grimm’s fairy tale and was commissioned by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. The work premiered in conjunction with VA Tech, Opera Roanoke and the Blacksburg Children’s Chorale in Oct. 2015 in a production directed by Greenberg and conducted by Scott Williamson.
Laitman has received numerous prestigious commissions, including from Opera America, Opera Colorado, Washington Master Chorale, Wolfgang Holzmair and Music of Remembrance. Her 2015 commission from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was for an orchestral piece to celebrate the BSO’s 100th anniversary. The work, entitled Unsung, will premiere in September 2016. Also in September 2016, Laitman and librettist Leah Lax, finalists for the 2018 Pellicciotti Opera Prize, will premiere the first scene of their opera Uncovered, based on Lax's memoir Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home. Her latest commission is from the Howard Hanson Institute for American Music at the Eastman School of Music and the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, for a chamber work celebrating the 100th anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote in New York State. The premiere is scheduled for March 5, 2017 in Rochester, NY.
A magna cum laude Yale graduate with an MM from Yale's School of Music, Laitman was featured on Thomas Hampson's Song of America radio series and website and in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. For more information, please visit www.artsongs.com.