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SLO Symphony to host female conductor 

Laura Jackson rehearsing in France.

Laura Jackson rehearsing in France.

Maestro Laura Jackson will lead the orchestra with featured violinist

–On Feb. 6. the San Luis Obispo Symphony will host for the first time in its 62-year history a woman conductor. Music Director of the Reno Philharmonic Laura Jackson will take the baton and lead the orchestra through Maurice Ravel’s “Mother Goose–Five Children’s Pieces,”  Zhou Tian’s Violin Concerto, “The Infinite Dance” with soloist Caroline Goulding, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, op. 92 in A Major.

“The SLO Symphony is very excited to have two extremely talented and dynamic women for our third Classics in the Cohan concert,” said Francie Levy, symphony general manager. “Each is a rising star in the industry, known for bringing new and unique music to the forefront. This is going to be one of the most exciting concerts in this organization’s history.”

Laura Jackson is in her seventh season as musical director of the Reno Philharmonic. In May 2013, at the invitation of the U.S. State Department, she became the first-ever American to lead the Algerian National Orchestra. Other recent engagements include a tour of Brittany with L’Orchestre de Bretagne and the Philippine Philharmonic. In North America, she has performed with the symphonies of Alabama, Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley, Detroit, Phoenix, San Antonio, Toledo, Toronto, Windsor and Winnipeg.

Jackson served as the Assistant Conductor/American Conducting Fellow with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano from 2004 to 2007. Prior to her appointment in Atlanta, Jackson studied conducting at the University of Michigan with Kenneth Kiesler 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.

“I am delighted and honored to be the symphony’s first woman conductor. I have been first in many instances,” says Jackson. “But, I am not a pioneer. The path that women before me have forged has made it easier for me. The industry is changing before our eyes. I used to be one of a handful and that handful is opening up. What is good to see is that women are conducting at the highest orchestra level.”

Featured violinist Caroline GouldingCarolineGoulding_LisaMazzucco

Caroline Goulding comes to Classic at the Cohan playing Zhou Tian’s Violin Concerto: “The Infinite Dance,” a piece commissioned in 2015 by the Atlantic Classical Orchestra specifically for Goulding.

The 23-year-old has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Berlin’s ensemblemini, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, Goulding splits her time between Kronberg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Mini subscription packages for remaining three ‘Classics in the Cohan’ series

There are three Classics in the Cohan concerts remaining in the 2015-2016 season. For the first time, the symphony is offering a mini-subscription package for the remaining events on Febr. 6, March 12 and May 7. Series ticket price ranges from $54-$216 and can be purchased through the PAC box office or by calling (805) 756-4849. Individual tickets are also available.




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