Jamie Laredo became such a violin sensation that he was asked to take on the role of leading some of the leading performance programmes and festivals in the United States.
He began playing violin at age 5 and his parents quickly recognised his skill, moving the family from Cochabamba, Bolivia, to the United States so he could continue his studies, enrolling at Curtis Institute in Philadelphia to perfect his playing. At the young age of 8, he gave his first recital, and premiered with San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11. It would be that debut that would earn him comparisons to both Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin.
Laredo plays a wide repertoire, and studied for some time under George Szell. He also champions new music and was honoured with the debut performance ofAndre Previn’s Double Concerto.
Laredo made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York City in October of 1960 and often performs at the Marlboro Festival in Vermont where he resides.
His wife is the accomplished cellist Sharon Robinson, with whom he often performs, including pieces that composers have written specially for their duo. The two of them have also formed a trio with Joseph Kalichstein called the Laredo-Robinson-Kalichstein Trio.
In the 1970s, Laredo began a conducting career and has performed several times with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He also advises the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
Because of his talent and impressive professional career, Laredo was asked to lead the New York String Seminar and Orchestra and serve as jury president of Indianapolis International Violin Competition. He also founded and directs the New York Chamber Music Series at 92Y.
Laredo has garnered many prestigious awards which include Artist Teacher Award from the American String Teachers’ Association, the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize and a Gramophone Award. He has been nominated for several Grammy awards, winning Best Chamber Music Recording in 1991. Laredo serves on faculty at Cleveland Institute of Music.
Jamie Laredo’s recordings appear on top labels such as RCA, Sony, Dorian and Arabesque.
“He has everything a virtuoso violinist needs. But he has more than that. He is a violinist of profound musicianship.” — The New Yorker
Photo credit: Christian Steiner