Georgia Laster



Competition Winner

Born: November 18, 1927 (Little Rock, AR)

Died: September 4, 1961 (Lodi, CA)

Georgia Ann Laster, soprano, was a protege of Marian Anderson and a winner in the 1953 Walter W. Naumburg Foundation competition. Under the auspices of Naumburg, she made her New York debut in Town Hall on December 1, 1953.

Laster was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and sang in church choirs as a young girl, and sang in her high school's a cappella choir, often appearing as soloist. In 1945 she attended the University of Southern California (USC) where she was a member of the choir and graduated from USC's school of music in 1948. Following graduation, she won an Atwater Kent audition as well as a UCLA Young Artist Award and received a scholarship to the Music Academy of the West. In 1949, she was the National Association of Negro Musicians Scholarship winner,

In 1953, Laster appeared at the Hollywood Bowl and also performed at Redlands Bowl and Pasadena Playhouse. She also performed with: the Portland Symphony, Bruno Walter and the San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Robert Shaw conducting, and the Vienna Philharmonic.

From 1955-1955 Laster toured the U.S., Japan, the Caribbean, South America, Jamaica and Europe. She was widely acclaimed by critics in Sweden, Germany, Norway, Vienna and Copenhagen. In 1956, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship.

Laster taught at Brooklyn College as well as in city schools in Los Angeles.

Laster died on September 4, 1961, near Lodi, CA in an automobile accident, which also took the life of her mother, Mrs. Georgia E. Laster.

When the Los Angeles Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians officially became an associate, recognized branch, it was unanimously decided to honor Georgia Ann Laster by renaming the branch after her.

Excerpt from The New York Times review, March 7, 1955

Georgia Laster Sings

" The soprano sang music by Purcell, German and French composers, several songs in English and a group of spirituals. This singer has a high voice of agreeable texture. She also has sensitivity and musicianship... to the natural beauty of her voice and an instinctive rapport with the music." H.C.S.


1953 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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