Born in Laredo, Texas in 1964, Mr. Laurel began his musical studies on the trumpet at the age of eight, and his piano studies at age ten. He attended both the Southwest Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with the noted accompanist David Garvey and was a protégé of Gérard Souzay. At Mr. Garvey’s invitation, he began a fifteen-year association with the Meadowmount School of Music, Ivan Galamian’s summer school for strings in upstate New York, where he played in the classes of Joseph Gingold, Joseph Silverstein, Yo-Yo Ma, Ulf Hoelscher, and Sally Thomas, among many others. He moved to New York City in 1989 to study at the Manhattan School of Music with Solomon Mikowsky and Fiorella Canin, winning the school’s concerto competition and performing the Schoenberg concerto with the Manhattan School Orchestra. Mr. Laurel has concertized extensively with artists such as Boris Belkin, Christine Walevska, and James Ehnes, in over a dozen countries on four continents. He is currently on staff at The Juilliard School and Mannes College.