CORNELIA LAEMMLI ORTH,
Music Director/Conductor/Chief Operating Officer
The Thomas Henry Wilson Family Fund Chair
Cornelia Laemmli Orth is in her eleventh season as music director of Symphony of the Mountains. In addition to her Masterworks Series, she has developed new series of Summer Outdoor, Family, Young People, Pops, Patriotic and Cross-Over concerts. World renowned soloists are regular guests with Symphony of the Mountains. As an advocate for Contemporary Music, Cornelia brings a variety of new music to the region.
Her concert lectures, involvement with area schools, colleges and universities, speeches for civic organizations, regular TV and radio appearances and collaborations with regional art organizations have made her a vital part of the community.
After guest conducting as a finalist with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in Ithaca, NY in March 2016, she was offered the Music Director position which she assumed in July 2016.
From 2010-2012, she held the position of Interim Music Director for the Appalachian Philharmonic and the Appalachian State University Opera Program in Boone, NC. She resumed these responsibilities for the 2015-2016 Season.
During the 2014-2015 Season, Cornelia had her debut as guest conductor with the Asheville Lyric Opera in Asheville, NC.
Prior to her engagement with Symphony of the Mountains, Cornelia held the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Oak Ridge Symphony and Choir.
She served as Associate Conductor and later Principal Guest Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony from 2002-2008 and since then has had several appearances with this orchestra.
In Europe, she was music director of the Operetta Theatre in Moeriken, Switzerland, Guest Assistant Conductor under Philippe Jordan at La Scala in Milano, Italy, worked with the Bohuslav Orchestra in the Czech Republic, and conducted many concerts with choirs and ad hoc orchestras with musicians from the Zurich Opera House and the Tonhalle Orchestra.
Cornelia received her Lehrdiplom in piano from the Conservatory at Winterhur and graduated from the Conservatory and University in Zurich with her Masters in Music Education and Choral Conducting. She obtained her Masters in Orchestra Conducting from Northwestern University, where she studied under Victor Yampolsky. In a variety of workshop settings, she studied under Larry Rachleff, Marin Alsop, Joann Falletta, Robert Spano, Kirk Trevor, Tsung Yeh, Milen Nachev and Johannes Schlaefli.
Cornelia convincingly combines the classical-romantic tradition of her old world origins with the unique American flavor that her international background and extensive working experience in her adopted country has provided her and is a sought-after guest conductor in the USA and in Europe.