☰ Menu

Laura Usiskin

Cellist Laura Usiskin enjoys a versatile career as a soloist and chamber musician. Her playing has taken her to concert halls throughout the United States and Europe, including the Kennedy Center, Palazzo Chigi Saracini, Symphony Hall (Boston), and New York venues including Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, Barge Music, Steinway Hall, Klavierhaus, and more.


She has received such awards as the Prix d’Instrument at the Écoles d’art Americaines (France), the Aldo Parisot Prize at Yale University, and finalist for the Pro Musicis International Award. She completed the nationally acclaimed Artist In Residency with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra as well as a fellowship with the Yale Baroque Ensemble. Usiskin has held tenured orchestral appointments with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Iowa, where she served as Principal Cello.


Usiskin has performed chamber music with such renowned artists as Richard Stoltzman, Ani Kavafian, and Emanuel Ax. Solo performances include concerts of the complete J.S. Bach solo suites in Los Angeles and Connecticut as well as concertos of Dvoràk and Shostakovich with the Montgomery Symphony and Orchestra Iowa respectively. Usiskin is a member of multiple chamber groups including the Bayberry String Quartet and the new music group ensemble vim.


While working with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, Usiskin founded and served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Montgomery Music Project, an El Sistema strings program for school students in Montgomery, Alabama. The program, now in its 10th year, has given intensive string instruction to hundreds of low-income children across three counties.


Usiskin currently serves on the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, through which she founded the concert series Chamber Music @ AEIVA. She is also on faculty at Birmingham-Southern College, Alabama School of Fine Arts, and STEP Birmingham. Usiskin’s cello studies began at age five with Gilda Barston of the Music Institute of Chicago and continued with Richard Hirschl of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She graduated from Columbia University cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Behavior, The Juilliard School with a Master of Music, and Yale University with a Doctor of Musical Arts.