Laura Miller, Assistant Principal Violin II2nd Violin

Laura Miller, 2nd violinist

Hometown:

Cleveland, Ohio

Year you joined the Grant Park Music Festival:

1988

Where you live now:

Chicago, Illinois

Where did you study?

Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music

What do you love most about your instrument?

The beauty and richness of the sound!

What’s on your playlist at the moment?

Michael Bublé, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Renee Fleming’s Homage CD

What would you be if you were not a musician?

Interior designer

Who would you love to work with in a future musical collaboration (conductors, guest artists) who you have not previously worked with?

The Festival does a wonderful job of presenting enormously gifted up-and-coming young performers, and I'd like to continue with the tradition of discovering them with our audience. Why not develop a concerto competition and feature a young Chicago-area high school or undergrad performer every year? Loved the Kurt Elling concert, perhaps we could showcase someone like Patricia Barber, who just performed a wonderful concert with Renee Fleming. It would also be really fun to do a concert with Igudesman & Joo—they are clever, hilarious and quite good!

Can you share any memorable stories about your experience with the Grant Park Music Festival?

Years ago, during a live performance at Symphony Center, we were recording an extraordinarily demanding piece. Our parts had been carefully crafted in order to ensure as much continuous playing as possible. During the first movement, it was my job to fold in the copied music taped on both sides of pages 3 and 4, then turn quickly to page 5 so that my stand partner could continue performing without interruption. Imagine my surprise when I looked up to see the title page..."Symphony in Waves by Aaron J. Kernis." No music in sight, anywhere. Somehow, I had accidentally turned everything back instead of forward. The look of horror on my stand partner's face sent me into a panic as I quickly re-opened the music and found the correct page, but it was too late. We were hopelessly lost in the musical ebb and flow of this complicated symphony. It only took Carlos a few seconds to see that we needed help, and although he was the captain steering our large orchestral ship through choppy waters, he gave us a very precise musical life preserver (cue) and we were able to quickly rejoin the group. To this day, I have the utmost respect and appreciation for our Music Director, who is brilliant and knew exactly how to get the lost-at-sea front desk of second violins back onto the boat. 

What’s on your playlist at the moment?  

Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, various Britten pieces, Handel's Alcina, and compositions by Alban Berg—in my opinion, he was a very lush and romantic composer. My playlist will be entirely different a month from now...

Any hobbies? 

Reading, yoga and designing jewelry, frequently incorporating antique and vintage components into my pieces.