Orchestra Conductor

Cornelia Laemmli Orth

Music Director/Conductor

The Thomas Henry Wilson Family Fund Chair

Cornelia Laemmli Orth is in her fourteenth season as Music Director of Symphony of the Mountains and in her fifth season as Music Director of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in Ithaca, NY.

In addition to Masterworks Series, she has developed new series of Summer Outdoor, Family, Young People, Pops, Patriotic and Cross-Over concerts, which led to Symphony of the Mountains being the first TN orchestra to travel abroad for a European tour with the Kruger Brothers. World renowned soloists are regular guests with both orchestras. As an advocate for contemporary music, Cornelia brings a variety of new music to the concert hall.

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 communities.

In September 2019 Cornelia had her debut with Opera Ithaca in Ithaca, NY in several performances of La Boheme, and in February 2020 she appeared as guest conductor of the Kansas Intercollegiate Orchestra at the Wesleyan University in Salina, KS.

In October 2017 she appeared as guest conductor with the Brevard Philharmonic in Brevard, NC.

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, and serves now on the advisory board for the Hayes School of Music.

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 master’s in music education. 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 and is a sought-after guest conductor in the USA and in Europe.