Byron Fulop Laing
“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.” ~Ludwig van Beethoven
Byron participated in the 2011 Metropolitan Youth Symphony Concert Tour to Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and performed at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. For the summers of 2012-14, Byron attended the Meadowmount School of Music in upstate New York, studying with Amy Barlowe and Gerardo Ribeiro. Byron was one of 8 Young Artists selected from across the country for the 2014 McDuffie Center Labor Day Chamber Music Festival in Macon, Georgia. Byron attended the 2016 Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra, studying with Almita and Roland Vamos. In previous summers, he attended the Portland Summer Ensembles, the Metro Arts Inc. Orchestral and Solo Performance Program, and the Columbia Symphony Chamber Music Program.
In February 2016, Byron was selected to perform at Symphony Center in Chicago as a member of the Chicago Youth in Music Festival Orchestra, and performed in the 2017 Festival under the direction of Maestro Ricardo Muti. Byron was a member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic Association (PYP) for four seasons and served as co-concertmaster of PYP for the 2014-15 season under the direction of David Hattner. He performed at the Grant Park International Music Festival in Chicago and appeared on TEDx, both with PYP. He served as concertmaster of the Baroque Opera Workshop under the direction of David Kerr and Sue Jensen. Byron has also performed in the Akros Piano Trio (MIC), Camerata PYP, “I Ragazzi” (a Portland-based baroque Trio), and numerous other chamber music groups.
Byron has performed in solo and chamber masterclasses for many distinguished artists including Ida Kavafian, Daniel Phillips, Robert McDuffie, Charles Castleman, William van der Sloot, David Halen, Lawrence Dutton, Jun Iwasaki, Monica Hugget, Ton Koopman, and the Pacifica, Jasper, and Miro Quartets among many others.
Byron is currently a Jacobs Scholar at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with Professor Mauricio Fuks. Academically, he is an IU Founders Scholar and a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. Previously, Byron was a merit scholarship fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college musicians, where he studied with Almita Vamos. Originally from Portland, OR, Byron also studied with Kathryn Gray, Amy Barlowe, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Paul Kantor from Rice University in Houston.
I have personally raised the majority of funds to cover my musical education, as detailed here. One of my most successful fundraising mediums has been busking, or street performing. Ever since I began fundraising at age 12, my family always taught me about the importance of giving back, and I donated 10% of my annual earnings to local social and environmental causes. But I had a personal experience around the age of 14 which crystallized this value in my heart. One day when I was busking, two homeless men stood and watched me for a couple of songs. When I finished, they combined all of their spare change and put it into my jar. That action stunned me and helped me to truly realize that generosity is a cycle, and, as part of that cycle, I have an obligation to give back to the community. I was inspired to organize a benefit concert for the homeless, which turned into an annual event. In total, I have coordinated four benefit concerts, featuring members of the Oregon Symphony, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and I Ragazzi Baroque. These concerts have raised almost $7,000, all of which has been donated to nonprofit agencies in the Portland community working to empower those in poverty, including Human Solutions, PACS, JOIN, and Street Roots. More information will be posted leading up to the next benefit concert.