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Laurence Kaptain--short bio

As a percussionist and symphonic cimbalom artist, Laurence Kaptain appears regularly with major ensembles, award-winning composers and renowned performing artists, 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 Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony.


In the summer of 2016 Kaptain was heard with the Philadelphia Orchestra.


His national visibility in advancing arts integration at research universities (, enhancing general education and liberal studies (AGLS), managing the finances for the College Music Society (CMS), and serving as co-editor / co-founder of the Journal for Performing Arts Leadership in Higher Education (JPALHE) places him in a unique position of creative thought leadership nationally and internationally.


Kaptain has been interviewed and featured on programs such as NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and, most recently, 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, Isaac Stern, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Elliot Carter, Gil Shaham, Suzanne Farrell, Kurt Masur, Elvis Costello, Henry Mancini, Donna McKechnie, Ginger Rogers, Rudolf Nureyev, Carol Channing, Robert Altman and many others.


As dean of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts (CMDA) at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge (from 2009-13), Kaptain is known a an energetic, visionary, and well-respected academic leader with an exemplary record of effectiveness directing internationally renowned higher education programs and performing arts units in the provision of superlative learning, creative and performance opportunities. At LSU he coordinated and guided the execution of program development and fund-raising efforts to support artistic and intellectual growth of over 600 full-time students, 80 faculty and over 20 professional staff members. During his 4 year term as Dean the CMDA endowment grew by over 65%, diversity in the student body by more than 35%, and faculty / student travel by over 100%. Especially notable was a growth and substantially increased visibility of faculty / student creative work and presence in New York City, Europe, Asia and throughout the Americas.


He is currently Dean of the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver (2014-present). 


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