Laurence Kaptain, M.M. '75

Laurence Kaptain, M.M. ‘75 was named Dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts in July 2009, where he also is the Penniman Family Professor of Music. Prior to joining LSU, Kaptain was the dean of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Kentucky. Prior to his appointment at Shenandoah, he was director of the Schwob School of Music in Georgia and vice-provost at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

As one of America’s premier symphonic/chamber cimbalom artists, Kaptain appears regularly with entities, including the New York Philharmonic, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. His performances may also be heard on recordings with the Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Orpheus, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony. He has been interviewed and featured on programs such as NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” and most recently on a retrospective broadcast of historic recordings made by Georg Solti on the Chicago Symphony’s BP Network broadcasts. He has also performed with renowned artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Issac Stern, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Elliot Carter, Gil Shaham, Suzanne Farrell, Kurt Masur, Elvis Costello, Henry Mancini, Donna McKechnie, Carol Channing and Robert Altman.

A former Fulbright Scholar to Mexico, Kaptain is the first percussionist to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, from the University of Michigan, where he served as a visiting faculty member. He has held visiting teaching appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oberlin Conservatory, and has also taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Drake University. Kaptain majored in performance at the Frost School of Music.

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