Artistic Director and Violin

Admired for her vivid musical intensity and the beauty of her sound, violinist and artistic director, LAURIE SMUKLER is an artist who is active as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She began her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Margaret Randall and later went to The Juilliard School where she studied with Ivan Galamian. Other teachers who have had a powerful influence on her development have been Josef Gingold, Donald Weilerstein, and Robert Mann.

As the original and founding first violinist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, she spent eight years with that group – traveling and performing internationally. She also performed and toured as the first violinist of two school-affiliated string quartets: the Bard Festival String Quartet and the Purchase Faculty String Quartet. She has performed and toured with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and Music From Marlboro along with other celebrated groups. With her husband, violist Ira Weller, she directed and performed in the respected series “The Collection in Concert,” at the Pierpont Morgan Library for over ten years. She plays regularly at the chamber series, Da Camera of Houston and Capitol Concerts in Vermont. Recent concerts include a tour of China, as well as concerts and master classes in University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, The Juilliard School, University of Iowa, and Bucknell University, and the University of Texas (Austin)

Along with her performing career, Laurie Smukler is a dedicated and passionate teacher. She is a valued member of the faculty at The Juilliard School. As well, she is a on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the Conservatory of Music at Bard College. She spent 18 years as a Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Purchase College Conservatory of Music; ten as Head of the String Department. She has been on the Kneisel Hall faculty since 1997.

Laurie Smukler also has a particular interest in contemporary music and has premiered works by many composers including Ned Rorem, Richard Wernick, Morton Subotnik, Steven Paulus, Shulamit Ran and Bruce Adolphe.

Ms. Smukler plays a Petrus Guarnerius violin made in Venice in 1738 and has recorded for Music Masters. She will be on campus the entire season.