Laura Kuennen-Poper

Laura Kuennen Poper,   ViolaViolist Laura Kuennen-Poper joins the Marrowstone faculty with more than 30 years experience teaching viola, violin, and chamber music at both the college and pre-college levels and a performing career unusual for both its breadth and depth.   She has held faculty appointments at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), the Colburn School, the University of California-Irvine, and the Oberlin Conservatory, and has taught at summer programs ranging from the Idyllwild Arts and Eastman School of Music summer programs to the Festival de Musica de Camara in Segovia, Spain.

Equally active as a performer, she has been a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, LA Opera, Hollywood Bowl, and Rochester Philharmonic, and Cleveland Opera orchestras, and recorded hundreds of soundtracks for films as a studio musician for all of the major motion picture studios in Hollywood.   She was a six-time Fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and was twice awarded an Artist Residency at the Banff Centre (Canada).  Summer festival engagements have included the Spoleto, Aspen, Mainly Mozart, Festival Mozaic, and Casals festivals, and she has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Banff Festival Orchestra, and at the XXVI International Viola Congress in Markneukirchen, Germany.    Long a proponent of contemporary and newer music, she has given the world premiere performances of works by Morton Subotnick, Mario Davidovsky, Earl Kim, Mel Powell, Barbara Kolb, Stephen Mosko, Maria Newman, Alvin Lucier, and many others.

The sum of all of these experiences led to a dual appointment as Director of Conservatory Career Development and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Oberlin Conservatory, where she created and taught the first program in professional development and entrepreneurial studies in the Conservatory’s history.   She left the Conservatory to become the Artistic Manager for Red {an orchestra}, an experimental group searching for ways to connect new audiences with classical music,  and subsequently became the Director of Education and Community Development for Opera Cleveland.

She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music.  Laura’s major teachers included Martha Katz, Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, and the late Karen Tuttle.  She currently resides in Oberlin with her husband Roy, where she teaches at the Conservatory’s Community Music School, performs with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and is a consultant in music management and career development.