Cellist Laura Deming joined the orchestra of Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1976 at age 22. She was instantly hooked on opera when her first season included singers Ruth Welting, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Alfredo Krause, Nicolai Ghiarov, and Geraint Evans.
In 1991 she founded the Pine Mountain Music Festival, which produced opera, symphony, and chamber music performances in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In 2001, Laura was named Artistic Director Emerita. Since 2014, Laura has been Executive and Artistic Director of the Green Lake Festival of Music in Green Lake, WI, which celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2019.
During four sabbatical years with Lyric Opera she has played principal cello with Detroit's Michigan Opera Theatre, conducted Marquette, Michigan's Northern Michigan University Orchestra and Upper Peninsula Youth Orchestra, served as the first artistic and executive director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and conducted the ensembles at Cardinal Stritch University. While there, she co-founded the Clarus Piano Trio with pianist, Dr. Eun-Joo Kwak and Timothy Klabunde, violinist with the Milwaukee Symphony.
A native of Oshkosh, WI, Laura began studying cello in the 4th grade public school music program. A powerful childhood memory is getting to hear Marion Anderson sing at then Oshkosh High School and also hear the Isaac Stern, Leonard Rose, and the Eugene Istomen Trio.
Laura graduated from Northwestern University. A cello performance major, her principal teacher was Dudley Powers. Laura did post-graduate work at the International Cello Centre in Scotland under Jane Cowan, teacher of Steven Isserlis. Favorite chamber music collaborations include performing Schubert's C Major String Quintet with the University of Miami's Bergonzi String Quartet, and playing in the piano trio for Second City Guide to the Opera, the acclaimed collaboration between Lyric Opera of Chicago and Second City.
Laura has also enjoyed a writing career, having founded and edited for 15 years an international, interfaith newsletter for clergy spouses, SPICE. She particularly enjoys being part of the orchestra's newsletter team, whose issues are archived on the orchestra's website.