Laura Sherman is a Miami-based harpist with extensive experience in classical, popular and commercial music. Currently the Lecturer of Harp and Music Theory at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, Laura recently relocated from New York City, where she was a popular performer, teacher, writer and editor for thirty four years, including fifteen as the original harpist with the Broadway production of "Wicked."
A versatile and well-traveled musician, Laura has performed, toured and/or recorded with such diverse artists as Barbra Streisand, Jewel, Meredith Monk, Andrea Bocelli, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti, Marvin Hamlisch, Jon Faddis, James Galway, and Joshua Bell. Featured on WNYC's "Sound Check," "The CBS Sunday Morning Show," "The Today Show," and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” she has performed in many of the great concert halls in New York City and Europe. Tours with three Broadway shows have taken her around the world, with extended stays in Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich, Hamburg, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and twenty-six cities in Japan. She is also featured on the Broadway cast recordings of Wicked and Hamilton, as well as a number of films.
In 2012, Laura founded Gotham Harp Publishing, a harp music publishing company specializing in quality transcriptions of early music and works by contemporary composer. As a writer and editor, she served as the Interim Editor of The American Harp Journal for two issues (Summer 2017 & Winter 2018) and her articles have appeared in Musical America, the World Harp Congress Review, the Historical Harp Society’s Bulletin, the Harp Column magazine, and The American Harp Journal.
Laura's life-long love of Johann Sebastian Bach's music inspired her to study with Rosalyn Tureck at her Bach Research Institute in Oxford, England. The end results, critical performance editions for harp of the complete Lute Suites by Bach, became her doctoral dissertation at the University of Michigan and were published in June 2012 by Gotham Harp Publishing. Laura has given lecture-recitals on the topic at the American Harp Society's 2012 Conference in New York City and 2016 Conference in Atlanta and at the World Harp Congress in Prague, Czech Republic in 1999 and Sydney, Australia in 2014. She currently serves as the artistic co-chair, with Cheryl Dungan Cunningham, of the American Harp Society's 2020 National Conference in Orlando, Florida.
In addition to teaching privately and at the Frost School of Music, Laura served as an assistant professor of harp and Bach studies at Louisiana State University (1999-2000) and as an adjunct harp and music studies instructor at Hunter College in Manhattan (2000-2003). She has four degrees, three in harp performance (Queens College/CUNY, undergraduate; Yale University School of Music, master's; University of Michigan, DMA) and a second master's, in music theory, from the University of Michigan. She studied harp with Elisa Dickon, Mary Brigid Roman, Susan Jolles, Gloria Agostini, Nancy Allen and Lynne Aspnes.
She has been featured in the the Harp Column magazine, and on their podcast series, as well as in Allegro, the official publication of Local 802, American Federation of Musicians.
World Harp Congress in Cardiff, Wales
Am thrilled and honored to be presenting a lecture-recital with Irish harpist Anne-Marie O'Farrell about Bach on the pedal and lever harps at the World Harp Congress in Cardiff, Wales next July, 2020.
Artistic Director Co-Chair of the American Harp Society's 2020 Conference in Orlando
I am looking forward to working with co-chairs Cheryl Cunningham and Haley Rhodeside, as well as the Central Florida Chapter of the American Harp Society, on creating a fantastic 2020 Conference in Orlando. This year's theme is "That's Entertainment," and the proposals we have received so far look great. More details about programming to come. And wait until you see our new logo! Hope to see you there!
Naples Harp Festival
I'm thrilled to have been invited to be the guest artist at the Naples Harp Festival from February 14-16, 2020. In addition to presenting a solo recital, I will be giving a masterclass, and playing with their wonderful ensemble. Click here for details about this exciting harp festival.
Frost School of Music, University of Miami appointment
I am honored to have been named the Lecturer of Harp and Music Theory at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, beginning in August 2019. In addition to teaching harp students and music theory courses, I will be teaching my "Bach for Performers" graduate course, which is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists. I am looking forward to joining the innovative Frost faculty and build a world-class harp department there. For the official UM announcement, click here. And thank you, Harp Column, for sharing the news with this article. For information about financial scholarships and graduate assistantships, click here or feel free to message me directly.
"Cheering for Me Now" Behind-the-Scenes Video
Here's a behind-the-scenes video about the making of November's Hamildrop, "Cheering for Me Now," by Lin-Manuel Miranda and John Kander. Was wonderful making music with my excellent colleagues. Hope you enjoy this and happy holidays to all!
Honored to be a part of the 34-piece orchestra who recorded the November Hamildrop, a new song by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights, Bring It On) and John Kander (Cabaret, Chicago, and “New York, New York) entitled, "Cheering for Me Now." In the song, Hamilton is at a parade in 1788 that commemorates New York's ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Miranda noted, if the song had made the cut for the Broadway production of Hamilton, it's location on the Cast Recording would be "right in the middle of Nonstop, after the Federalist Papers, when NY adopts the constitution. Which is why it could never be in the show. It's an alternate timeline Act One closer." Here's a link to the video.