• Dana Gioia

    Regarding The Apple Orchard (from Carol Kimball’s article “Bright Is The Ring of Words” in The Journal of Singing, September/October 2009):

    I have had a great many songs composed based on my poems. Usually the song — good, bad, or wonderful — becomes something quite different from my poem. That is only natural. The composer’s vision transforms the text in some decisive way. With “The Apple Orchard” something extraordinary happened. Lori Laitman’s setting is so perfect that it seems to have emerged naturally from the words as if the music had always been hidden in the lines. Every nuance of her settings seems absolutely inevitable. I can’t imagine another possible setting of the poem. And the song is so suave, so beautiful — somehow both understated and dramatic. I loved it from the first moment I heard it. And oddly I have never heard a performance which didn’t work. A collaboration this perfect is a very rare thing.

  • Beth Greenberg

    Stage Director and Dramaturg

    Lori Laitman has an uncanny gift for not only lyric, but dramatic vocal writing — always knowing where, when and how to unleash her characters’ deepest longing, triumps, failures and passions, and how those desires and events ebb and flow within the timeline of her musical landscape. I’ve had the good fortune to direct the world premieres of three of her operas – The Scarlet Letter, The Three Feathers and Uncovered — and with each, I am astounded at her limitless ability to create rich worlds for her characters, each struggling with their unique human predicaments.

  • Mina Miller

    Founder and Artistic Director, Music of Remembrance

    Lori Laitman’s music speaks to the human heart with rare emotional depth and honesty.  Her six commissions for Music of Remembrance – spanning over two decades – range from intimate poetic song settings to Vedem, a powerful oratorio scored for children’s voices and small instrumental ensemble.  They have been a source of endless pride for us and have given our audiences some of their most memorable moments.  Years later, we hear from choristers in Vedem who tell us how transformative that experience was.  

  • Leah Lax

    Librettist for Uncovered

    I found working with Lori Laitman to be the best kind of collaboration, the kind you dream of. Lori literally beat out the rhythm of my words, then set them so that they melded with the music, belonged with the music, in a balance so perfect, a connection so natural, the audience could discern every word. Uncovered is based on my memoir. During that magical process, I’d answer the phone to find I was the first to hear new music. Without verbal description, with music her purest language of emotion, she played and sang from her scribbled notes then asked, “Is this how you felt? How you feel?”

  • Sam Martin

    Founding Artistic Director of Cincinnati Song Initiative

    Lori Laitman has single-handedly carved out the highest echelon of composers for the voice. Her naturalness and ease in weaving glorious lyricism must be a natural-born talent, and yet I know firsthand how tirelessly she works to find the perfection in each song. If ever there was someone we could trust to bring out the best in any text while simultaneously setting singer and pianist up for wild success, it would be Lori. The golden age of American song is all the richer with her unparalleled contributions to the genre, and I am grateful to witness her brilliance.

  • Colin Clarke

    Fanfare Magazine, in a review of Are Women People?The Songs of Lori Laitman

    This glorious output of song (with the odd chamber piece) acts as yet another testament to the strength of Laitman’s vocal output…This disc is itself a treasure — another example of the inexhaustible font of imagination that is Lori Laitman.

  • Warren Jones

    pianist, conductor, vocal coach

    During my career I have had the great pleasure to learn, perform, and record many of the songs of Lori Laitman.  Her personal style of composition is indeed wonderful, for she always imparts a special flavor, a special viewpoint, to the poems with which she chooses to work.  They are not only fun to study and perform, but they convey deeper and more significant meanings as one gets to know them better.  Lori is a treasure, and a person whom I feel blessed to know!  

  • Tom Cipullo


    From Textura.org’s Fresh Patterns overview article about Lori’s work

    I’m amazed by the emotional range of Lori’s music. Is there another living composer whose works so convincingly span such a wide array of feelings and states of mind? And I marvel also at those glorious, lyrical melodies that adhere so closely to every nuance of the written word. Lori’s voice, at once free and yet so superbly controlled, is unlike anyone else working today. Lori Laitman is a national treasure.

  • Gregory Berg

    The Ocean of Eternity review from The Journal of Singing, November/December 2022

    There seems to be no limit to the wellspring of Lori Laitman’s compositional inspiration…Every facet of Laitman’s genius is on vivid display here, but the disc especially celebrates her bountiful, wide-ranging imagination. Whatever the task, challenge or opportunity may be, Laitman engages with it in a way that scrupulously serves the text while shedding new and illuminating light on the world and the human condition. Her music always sounds completely fresh and new.

  • Ron Schepper

    Textura.org August 2021 review of Are Women People? — The Songs of Lori Laitman

    One is repeatedly dazzled by her compositional versatility and imagination, and experienced as a whole, the set provides an illuminating portrait…Considering the number of songs she’s written, the release constitutes a small sampling, yet the marvelous music that is presented enables a clear impression of Laitman’s remarkable range and command to form.

  • David Mason

    from The Scarlet Libretto (Red Hen Press, 2012)

    These days art songs may in some circles be a little known form of music. Related to the lieder tradition in Europe, they involve setting the text of a poem— or, as Laitman has said of her own work, “My goal is to create dramatic music to express and magnify the meaning of the poem.” They are a musical expression of what we find in the words, but like a film adaptation of a novel they also become wholly new works in their own right. Gregory Berg notes, “Laitman clearly loves words and treats them with such reverent care even as she works so tirelessly to enhance them as only music can.”

    Over the years, Lori has set poems by canonical writers from Emily Dickinson to Richard Wilbur, as well as many lesser-known poets. She has made hauntingly beautiful song cycles and brief bursts of comedy. Poets love her settings because she is so attentive to the words. Singers love them because they stand out as performances and are clearly intended to be sung—“a simple-sounding proposition,” Berg adds, “but one that defeats many modern art song composers.” Many of her settings come across as mini-operas or dramatic scenes; they evolve tonally and emotionally even in a relatively brief time. Because this composer respects words and thinks both musically and dramatically, she is perfectly suited for opera.

  • Dr. Adelaide Whitaker

    I have commissioned Lori Laitman to compose a number of songs and shall continue to do this. The results are invariably wonderful.

    As a singer and a researcher, my longtime exploration of the art song repertoire has led me to focus on the United States, where creative efforts in all the arts are vigorous and exciting. Lori Laitman is clearly one of the most brilliant composers of the American genre. Summarily, her work embodies a continuation of the great art song tradition. The songs express the values of our time and all time. And… they are beautiful.

    Technically, Ms. Laitman’s songs utilize contemporary musical language that frees the expressive qualities of the poetry and the music: varying barline lengths, free color associations and an accompaniment that is a full partner in a complex, integrated web. Singers are thrilled to have songs which provide both joy and a challenge to prepare. And audiences still want an aesthetic experience at a concert!

    Thank you, Lori, for a superb job.

  • Sharon Mabry

    “The Masterful Lori Laitman” — The Journal of Singing, September/October 2007

    IT IS RARE WHEN A PIECE OF MUSIC can be called a masterpiece…Such a work must display the highest level of compositional skill and excellence without pretense or artificiality of technique in its creation. It should impart a vivid depiction of its aesthetic intent and cause the listener to be forever changed for having experienced it. Further, the consequence of its performance should be a demand that it be repeated frequently, since its absence would diminish the lives of all potential listeners…The American song composer, Lori Laitman, has been lauded by reviewers as one of the most extraordinary song composers working today, likening her to Ned Rorem. She has an innate ability to capture the essence of textual meaning, a keen perception of vocal nuance, and a lavish intellectual and musical vocabulary that she uses with a facile ease. It was with all of these extraordinary skills that she created a magnificent song cycle called The Seed of Dream…Each of the five songs is uniquely crafted to embody the textual expression with descriptive melodies, harmonic underpinnings, and sympathetic timbres that identify even the subtlest, changeable emotions. The music is filled with rubato, marked tempo changes, and an elasticity that is built into the musical lines. Due to the composers compositional flexibility and obvious appreciation for nuance, each song uses the voice and instruments in a slightly different way. Laitman knows how to get the very best from the baritone voice, giving it opportunities to use a full range of dynamics and allowing it to have heights of drama, lyric lines, as well as delicacy of articulation and interpretation. The voice is used in a traditional way throughout with an occasional glissando and a little humming. The use of the cello as a conversationalist with the voice and piano is brilliant and provides intense emotion and extraordinarily refined color changes throughout the piece.