Lori Laitman

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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 professional world pemiere 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. Huffington Post ran an interview with Laitman,[1] and the May 2016 issue of Opera News had a feature about Laitman and The Scarlet Letter. Naxos released the CD in Aug. 2017. Gramophone wrote: "The first thing that leaps into one's ears is the sheer beauty of the music. Laitman has devoted much of her career to the art song, and her ability to meld words with lyrical, often soaring lines is on abundant display in her opera." Laitman and Mason also collaborated on Vedem, a Holocaust oratorio commissioned by Music of Remembrance, and are currently 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. Huffington Post ran a feature on the opera.[1] The children's outreach version, which is condensed to under an hour, was premiered by Florida State University in February 2016. Seattle Opera commissioned a 5 voice/piano abridged version to premiere in the Seattle schools from January through June 2018.

"Uncovered" is Laitman's opera with Leah Lax, based on Leah's memoir. It was a 2018 finalist for the Domenic J. Pelliccioti Opera Composition Prize.

Laitman has received numerous prestigious commissions, including from Opera America, Opera Colorado, Washington Master Chorale, Wolfgang Holzmair and Music of Remembrance. She received a 2015 Centennial Commission from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Marin Alsop, for an orchestral piece to celebrate the BSO's 100th anniversary. The work, entitled Unsung, premiered in September 2016. Laitman's commission from the Howard Hansen Institute for American Music at the Eastman School and the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership produced "Are Women People?" — and the piece for SATB vocal quartet and piano 4 hands, used texts by Alice Duer Miller, Susan B. Anthony and also set the 19th Amendment of the Constitution. The work premiered at Eastman School of Music in March 2017.

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. The Yale School of Music presented her with the Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award at Yale Commencement on May 21, 2018.


  1. ^ a b Eisenberg, Susan Dormady (2016-04-20). "Lori Laitman Talks About The Scarlet Letter , Her New Opera Premiering Soon at Opera Colorado". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-06-27.

Dormady Eisenberg, Susan, "Lines Written At The Falls" (November 2005), Classical Singer. Dormady Eisenberg, Susan, "From Art Song To Opera" (October 2009), Classical Singer.

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