LAURA COLGATE, violin
Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “remarkably poised…sensitive and majestic,” violinist Laura Colgate enjoys a versatile career as a chamber and orchestral musician, soloist, educator, curator, activist, and innovator. Having performed worldwide across Europe, Asia, and North America, she has performed on stages including the Barbican Centre, Kennedy Center, and multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall.
Laura currently lives in Takoma Park, MD and is Concertmaster of The National Philharmonic at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD, and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina, and was formerly concertmaster of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. She frequently performs as a substitute with several major orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra in her hometown, Memphis, TN. She is also the curator for the Strathmore Music in the Mansion series and the Chamber Music Series at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
She completed her Doctorate from the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Music, focusing her thesis on Women Composers. Laura is passionate about being an innovator in the world of classical music, and in March 2018 co-founded the Boulanger Initiative, an advocacy organization for women composers based in D.C., for which she holds the position of Executive Director. The Initiative champions the works of women composers through consulting, performance, education, and commissions, and launched it’s performance series with the Women Composers (WoCo) Festival in D.C. March 8-10, 2019.
As founder and previous first violinist of Excelsa Quartet, Laura studied at the Conservatory in Luzern, Switzerland, and in the Professional Quartet Training Program with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne, Germany. The Quartet held the Fellowship Quartet Residency at UMD from 2013-2016, and were First Prize winners at the Charles Hennen 26th International Chamber Music Competition for Strings in The Netherlands.