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Violinist, GSO Concertmaster Laura Colgate in recital Nov. 5

Last updated October 26, 2018

By Tina Underwood

The Furman University Department of Music will host acclaimed violinist Laura Colgate in a recital Monday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. in Daniel Recital Hall on campus.

The concert is free and open to the public. The recital is part of Furman’s Distinguished Visiting Professor of Strings Series and is presented in honor of Colgate’s appointment as concertmaster of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra (GSO) for the 2018-2019 season.

Performing with notable Scottish pianist Toni James, Colgate will present works by Amy Beach, Lera Auerbach, Claude Debussy, Leos Janacek and Astor Piazzolla.

A resident of Takoma Park, Maryland, Colgate serves as the newly named 2018-2019 concertmaster of GSO as well as the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “remarkably poised…sensitive and majestic,” Colgate enjoys a versatile career as a chamber and orchestral musician, soloist, educator and innovator. Having performed across Europe, Asia and North America, she has appeared on stages such as the Barbican Centre, Kennedy Center, and multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall.

Dedicated to innovation in the world of classical music, Colgate co-founded the Boulanger Initiative in 2018, a D.C.-based advocacy organization for women composers. The Initiative champions the works of women composers through performance, education and commissions, and will debut its performance series with the Women Composers (WoCo) Chamber Music Series Festival Launch in D.C. March 2019.

Colgate recently completed her doctorate at the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Music, focusing her thesis on women composers. She earned her undergraduate degree in 2006 at the New England Conservatory (NEC), and received a Graduate Diploma from NEC in 2009. A passionate educator of solo and chamber music, Colgate has given masterclasses throughout the United States and Europe and maintains a small studio of private students in the D.C. area.

For more information about the event, contact the Furman University Music Department at 864-294-2086, or email the department at

About Toni James

Toni James to perform with Laura Colgate

Pianist Toni James performs with Laura Colgate in recital Nov. 5

Considered among the finest Scottish pianists of her generation, Toni James is an internationally-recognized prize-winning soloist, chamber music pianist and teacher. Her recordings have won Fanfare Magazine’s “Want List-Recordings of the Year” and MusicWeb International’s “Recording of the Month” awards. Winning acclaim from MusicWeb International, Gramophone, Fanfare Magazine and the Boston Musical Intelligencer, she has been described as a “chamber music pianist of the highest caliber” (Gwyn Parry-Jones -MusicWeb International), “poised to join the ranks of the finest” of her generation (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and noted for her “wonderfully alive playing and the personality of her interpretation” (Boston music critic, Steven Ledbetter). In 2015, she was appointed to the faculty of the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University where she serves as assistant professor of piano.

At age 20, James was the youngest ever Scottish pianist to receive a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with First Class Honors from the Royal Conservatoire, and in 2015 completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, Toni received the School’s highest honors in both performance and teaching.

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