Reno Philharmonic Music Director Laura Jackson: pushing boundaries, taking action

Posted on: August 1, 2022

“As women continue to gain traction as trailblazers within industries, women in niche markets like orchestra conductors are just beginning to break the glass ceilings,” writes Cheryl Robinson in Thursday’s (7/28) Forbes. “According to the most recent data available from the League of American Orchestras, only 14.6% of U.S orchestra conductors at all levels were women. Additionally, the organization’s 2022 Orchestra Repertoire Report found that works by women composers and composers of color (living and deceased) rose by four hundred percent. Laura Jackson, music director for Reno Philharmonic, now in her 14th season, is paving a new direction for up-and-coming female conductors and composers through her artistry, leadership and creative community engagement. She conducted Symphony No. 3: Altered Landscape in May by renowned composer Jimmy López Bellido. An agreement was made that other orchestras who wanted to perform the piece bypass paying royalties. Instead, they are required to donate $1,000 to the Nature Conservancy, presenting a unique opportunity for orchestras to combat climate change. In addition, the piece itself directly engages with themes of climate and pandemic-induced isolation.” Said Jackson, “It’s not just about generating awareness and having great conversations about topics. It’s about really taking action that matters.”