Laura Jackson, Guest Conductor

Guest Conductor for the Symphony’s March 24 and 25, 2018 concerts


Laura Jackson – now in her ninth season as music director of the Reno Philharmonic – continues to win praise for her artistry, leadership, innovative programming and creative community engagement.

Her passion and drive have helped the Reno Philharmonic reach new heights with cutting edge composer-in-residence projects as well as vibrant performances of traditional repertoire.  New works that Jackson has commissioned in partnership with the Reno Phil have enjoyed multiple performances nationwide.

In addition to concerts with the Reno Philharmonic, Ms. Jackson guest conducts nationally and internationally.  Performances this season include concerts with the orchestras of Eugene, Hartford, Charlottesville, Hawaii and Flint, the Philly POPS and L’Orchestre symphonique de Bretagne in France.  Last season, Jackson returned to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra where she previously served as its first-ever female assistant conductor from 2004-7.

Jackson recorded Michael Daugherty’s Time Cycle on Naxos with the Bournemouth Symphony in partnership with Marin Alsop and received an invitation from the U.S. State Department in 2013 to serve as the first American to lead the Algerian National Orchestra.  Other international engagements include concerts in China and the Philippines.  In North America, she has performed with the orchestras of Alabama, Baltimore, Detroit, Phoenix, San Antonio, Toledo, Toronto, Windsor and Winnipeg, among others.

Prior to her appointment in Atlanta, Laura studied conducting at the University of Michigan and spent summers at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center in 2002 and 2003.  As the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood, she conducted numerous concerts featuring both traditional and contemporary repertoire.

Ms. Jackson spent her early childhood in Virginia and Pennsylvania before moving at age 11 to Plattsburgh, New York, where she grew up waterskiing, swimming and sailing on Lake Champlain.  She fell in love with the violin in public school, later attending the North Carolina School of the Arts to finish high school.  She pursued an undergraduate degree at Indiana University where she studied both violin and conducting before moving to Boston in 1990 to freelance as a violinist and teach at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.