Music Director


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Photo: Dede Hatch

Cornelia Laemmli Orth was appointed Music Director of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in July 2016.

She is also in her twelfth season as music director of Symphony of the Mountains (SOTM). In addition to 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 SOTM and as an advocate for contemporary music, she 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 her TN community. In October 2017 she appeared as guest conductor with the Brevard Philharmonic in Brevard, NC.

From 2010-2012, Ms. Orth 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, and serves now on the advisory board for the Hayes School of Music.

During the 2014-2015 Season, she had her debut as guest conductor with the Asheville Lyric Opera in Asheville, NC.  Prior to her engagement with Symphony of the Mountains, she 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 has had several appearances with this orchestra since then.

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 Laemmli Orth 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.

Ms. Orth 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 US and in Europe.


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