Laura Jackson Image
Jeff Dow Photography

Laura Jackson, Music Director

Entering her 14th season, Laura Jackson continues to grow the Reno Philharmonic through her passion for the community, musical innovation, and leadership. Her drive has helped the Reno Phil reach new heights with engaging performances of traditional repertoire along with thought provoking composer – in – residence projects. In May of 2022, after three years of collaboration, creativity, research, vision, perseverance, and heart Symphony NO. 3 Altered Landscape was brought to life. Composed and imagined solely by Jimmy López Bellido, Jimmy developed his inspiration for the Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape photography collection.

Ms. Jackson guest conducts nationally and internationally recently performing with the symphonies of Hartford, Eugene, Charlottesville, Hawaii, Flint, Philly POPS, L’Orchestre symphonique in France, and the Philippines Philharmonic. Jackson recorded Michael Daugherty’s Time Cycle on Naxos with the Bournemouth symphony in partnership with Marin Alsop.

Prior to her appointment in Atlanta, she 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 a variety of repertoire. Jackson spent her early childhood in Virginia and Pennsylvania before moving at age 11 to Plattsburgh, NY, 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 for 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.

Commissioning Projects

Laura Jackson is passionate about creating new music, and is proud of the partnerships she has helped build between the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and some of todays most fantastic up-and-coming composers. Below are the commissioning projects she has led with the Reno Phil:

Jimmy López Bellido: Symphony No. 3: Altered Landscape (2020) engages themes of climate change and imagines a hopeful future of sustainable balance in relationship with the planet.

Monica Houghton: Respectfully yours (2020) evokes the natural beauty of the Great Basin and reminds us of its fragility and need for careful stewardship.

Zhou Tian: Transcend (2019) commemorating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

Carlos Simon: Orchestral version of Amen! (2019) recreates Carlos’ childhood experience growing up in an African American Pentecostal church. Reno Phil commission in partnership with the Gateways Music Festival-Michael Morgan, conductor and the American Composers Orchestra.

Jonathan Leshnoff: Guitar Concerto (2014) Commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the Reno Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias

Michael GandolfiChesapeake: Summer of 1814 (2013) commemorating the 200th anniversary of the writing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

Sean Shepherd: Silvery Rills (2011) and Desert Garden (2011) Sean’s memories of growing up in Nevada as part of a fourth-generation Nevadan family.