Violinist, Laura Kobayashi leads a varied career as a performer and pedagogue. She currently resides in Northern Virginia and in addition to performing with the Polaris Piano Trio, she is a member of the Main Street Chamber Players and the Kobayashi/Gray Duo. She is also a founding member of the Main Street Music Studios in Fairfax where she maintains a large private studio of students.
With duo partner/pianist, Dr. Susan Keith Gray, Dr. Kobayashi performs regularly throughout the United States. The Duo has performed abroad in Wales, Thailand, South Africa, Norway, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Trinidad and St. Lucia and has presented guest artist master classes, workshops and clinics in all of those countries. They have also recorded two CD's 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 have edited for publication a violin sonata by 19th Century French composer Marie Grandval for Hildegard Publishing Company. Just recently, the Duo recorded its third CD of music by women composers.
Dr. Kobayashi has appeared as a soloist with a number of professional and university/college orchestras throughout the United States and overseas with the Salta Chamber Orchestra of Argentina and the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra of 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 Outstanding String Teacher Award from the Virginia state chapter of the American String Teachers Association and the 2002 "Excellence in Teaching" Award by the Division of Music College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University. Past teaching positions include West Virginia University, University of Nebraska-Omaha, University of Georgia and the Preparatory Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Prior to her teaching career, Dr. Kobayashi was a professional orchestra musician and played as a member of the second violin section in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.
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.