Laurie Sokoloff was born into one of Philadelphia’s leading musical families—both her parents were on the piano faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music. She first studied piano with her mother and Ralph Berkowitz and solfège lessons with Luigi Zaninelli, and then took early flute lessons with John Krell, solo piccoloist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. When she was 10 years old, her mother hired students from the Curtis Institute to come to their house to practice with her.
At age 14, Sokoloff was accepted into the Curtis Institute’s program, where she studied with William Kincaid, principal flutist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, while simultaneously finishing high school. She also took two masterclasses with Marcel Moyse and studied with him for two summers at Marlboro. By the time she graduated at age 18, she was already the contracted piccoloist with Philadelphia’s two opera companies and the Pennsylvania Ballet.
During the years spent in Philadelphia following her graduation, Sokoloff performed in chamber music recitals with cellist Jay Humestan and pianist Peter Serkin, soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and played numerous recitals with her father. She also gave chamber music recitals for the Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine.