Lauren Spaulding, under the alias of @MonochromeViola, has established herself as a rising genre-defying soloist and chamber musician through her “anonymous practice blog” on Instagram. Spaulding, a Texas native, studied under the tutelage of Professor Peter Slowik at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Geraldine Walther of the Takács Quartet, Erika Eckert, Roger Tapping of the Juilliard String Quartet, Matthew Young of the San Francisco Symphony, and Katherine Murdock.
As a member of the Thalea String Quartet, Spaulding has performed across the United States and Canada. She has shared the stage with a diverse range of inspiring artists, including Michelle Cann, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Mark Fewer, Stewart Goodyear, Sterling Elliott, Lara Downes, Joseph Conyers, and the Brentano Quartet. During her time with the ensemble, the quartet has served as an Ensemble-in-Residence at the Lakes Area Music Festival, the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet at the University of Maryland, and founded the Fischoff Summer Chamber Intensive, a week-long training program for young musicians in South Bend, IA.
Spaulding is the co-founder of the Tallā Rouge Viola Duo with fellow violist Aria Cheregosha. Tallā Rouge, a Cajun & Persian viola duo, inspires composers from around the world to explore the virtuosity and beauty of the unusual instrument pairing across genres. Tallā Rouge is the Ensemble-in-Residence for 2023 —2024 at Dumbarton Oaks, a Harvard Research Institute in Georgetown, DC.
Beyond her involvement with Thalea String Quartet and Tallā Rouge, Spaulding is a sought after collaborator, performing alongside Nobuko Imai, Carolin Widmann, Lawrence Lesser, Jorja Fleezanis, and members of the London Haydn Quartet, Orpheus, A Far Cry, and Imani Winds. Lauren is a member of Meredith Monk’s contemporary performance ensemble, an award-winning studio recording artist, and Principal Violist and Festival Artist of the Colorado MahlerFest.
Driven by the belief that “good music is good music,” Spaulding harnesses her passion for genre-bending performances to challenge societal perceptions of classical music. She is a staunch advocate for composers of all genders, identities, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Having personally navigated the hurdles of learning disabilities and embracing her queer identity during her formative years, Spaulding possesses a deep-seated commitment to inspiring young neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ musicians to pursue their artistic aspirations. In her work with the Thalea String Quartet, Lauren has contributed to the development of family-friendly, accessible, and inclusive concert experiences tailored for neurodiverse and disabled audiences, in partnership with Xenia Concerts (Toronto, ON) and Azure Concerts (Baltimore, MD).
Lauren has worked with Kim Kashkashian and her Boston team as a Co-Chapter head for ‘Music for Food,' an initiative that combats food insecurity by transforming music into nourishing meals (www.musicforfood.net). Spaulding's unwavering dedication to social advocacy through music earned her the esteemed privilege of performing at the White House in 2012. As a “Champion of Change,” she was recognized by President Obama for her contributions in using music as a catalyst for positive social transformation.
When Lauren isn’t on an airplane (playing Pokémon), in rehearsal, or performing she loves hanging in the sun, exploring new cities, and learning new skills! Always full of exciting projects, Lauren is often unable to sit idle during the day, but you can sometimes find her relaxing in the evenings while cuddling with her cat Pyrite, drinking coffee, and watching scary movies!