Laura Kobayashi leads a varied career as a performer and pedagogue. She currently resides in Northern Virginia and performs as a member of the Polaris Piano Trio and the Main Street Chamber Players (Fairfax, VA) in addition to regularly performing and touring with Dr. Susan Keith Gray as part of the Kobayashi/Gray Duo throughout the United States.  She is also a founding member of the Main Street Music Studios in Fairfax, VA where she maintains a large private studio of violin students.

With her duo partner/pianist, Dr. Gray, she has performed abroad in the countries of Wales, Thailand, South Africa, Norway, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and Brazil, and on the islands of Trinidad and St. Lucia presented guest artist master classes, workshops and clinics in all of those countries. Dr. Kobayashi has also collaborated with Dr. Gray on several projects including the recording of two compact discs of music by women composers for the Albany Records label, which have been broadcast on national public radio throughout North America as well as in Europe and have received rave reviews from The Strad magazine, Strings magazine and Fanfare magazine and the editing and publication of a violin sonata by 19th Century French composer Marie Grandval for Hildegard Publishing Company.  Just recently, the Duo recorded its third C.D. of music by women composers. 

As a soloist, Dr. Kobayashi has appeared with a number of professional and university/college orchestras throughout the United States as well as overseas with the Salta Chamber Orchestra in Salta, Argentina and the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra in Chiang Rai, Thailand. In addition, she has participated and served on the faculties of numerous music festivals in the United States, Norway, Brazil and Argentina.

Throughout her career, Dr. Kobayashi has received several awards including the 2012 VASTA (Virginia State Chapter of ASTA) Outstanding String Teacher Award and the 2002 “Excellence in Teaching” Award by the Division of Music and College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University. Her past teaching positions include serving on the faculties at West Virginia University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Georgia and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In addition, for a short period of time as a professional orchestral musician, she played as a member of the second violin section in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Outside of her teaching and performing activities, Dr. Kobayashi is also an active member of ASTA (American String Teachers Association) and has served as a National Chair for several of ASTA’s National Committees including the ASTA National Solo Competition, the ASTA CAP Program  (Certificate Advancement Program) and the Potter's Violins Instrument Awards, among others.

As a pedagogue, Dr. Kobayashi’s current and former students have been accepted to participate in ASTA’S National High School Honors Orchestra, the American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, All-Virginia Orchestra, Northern Virginia and North Central Virginia Senior Regional Orchestras, West Virginia All-State Orchestra and Nebraska All-State Orchestra. In addition, many of Dr. Kobayashi’s students have performed in public master classes for international concert violinists such as Jamie Laredo, James Ehnes, Arabella Steinbacher, Oleh Krysa, and Timothy Fain; concertmasters of major symphony orchestras: David Kim (Philadelphia) and Valentin Zhuk (Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra) and notable pedagogues such as Charles Castleman (The University of Miami), Paul Kantor (Rice University), Andrew Jennings (University of Michigan) and Marilyn McDonald (Oberlin Conservatory). Dr. Kobayashi’s students have also been accepted into undergraduate and graduate music programs pursuing degrees in music performance, music education and composition at notable schools such as The Juilliard School, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, The Hartt School (Hartford, CT), Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Florida State University. In addition, many of her former students have been hired into teaching positions in public school systems nation wide as well as serving as violin professors and orchestral conductors on the collegiate and professional level throughout the United States.

Dr. Kobayashi studied violin with Dorothy DeLay, Andrew Jennings, Paul Kantor and Denes Zsigmondy and performed in the master classes for Nathan Milstein, Ruggiero Ricci, Arthur Grumiaux, and Gyorgy Pauk. Chamber music studies have been with members of the Juilliard, Tokyo and American String Quartets as well as with collaborative pianists Robert McDonald and Samuel Sanders. Dr. Kobayashi earned degrees from The Juilliard School and Yale University and the Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Michigan.

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