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Laredo (lərā´dō), city (1990 pop. 122,899), seat of Webb co., S Tex., on the Rio Grande; founded 1755, inc. 1852. It is a port of entry on the U.S.-Mexican border, with a thriving export-import trade and a tourist industry. During the late 20th cent., Laredo became one of the fastest growing U.S. cities. It is a wholesale and retail center for a large area on both sides of the Rio Grande. Important to its economy are cattle ranching, irrigated farming, oil production, and mining and smelting. A wide variety of products are manufactured, including clothing, military supplies, candles, steel products, and leather goods. Laredo has close economic ties with its large sister city in Mexico—Nuevo Laredo—with which it is linked by two international bridges.

Laredo, a blend of Spanish, Mexican, and American frontier influences, grew as a post on the road to San Antonio and other Texas cities. After the Texas Revolution its ownership remained in doubt until the southern boundary of Texas was established by the Mexican War; during that period the city was the capital of the "Republic of the Rio Grande" (the capitol building, erected in 1755, still stands). Laredo's growth was aided by the arrival of the railroads (1880s), the development of irrigated farming, the discovery of oil and natural gas, and the opening (1936) of a highway to Mexico City. The former army post Fort McIntosh was founded in 1849 and intermittently rebuilt and used until 1946; Texas A&M International Univ. is now on the grounds. Laredo Community College is also there.

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Laredo (y Unzueta), Jaime (Eduardo)

Laredo (y Unzueta), Jaime (Eduardo), Bolivian violinist, conductor, and teacher; b. Cochabamba, June 7, 1941. He was taken to the U.S. as a child, and studied violin with Antonio de Grassi and Frank Houser in San Francisco, where he made his formal debut as a soloist with the San Francisco Sym. at age 11. He continued his training with Gingold in Cleveland and Galamian at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia. In 1959, a week before his 18th birthday, he won the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition in Brussels, and subsequently appeared with great success in America and Europe as a soloist with leading orchs. The proud Bolivian government issued a series of airmail stamps with Laredo’s picture and a musical example with the notes A, D, C in the treble clef, spelling his name in Latin notation (La- Re-Do). In 1960 he married Ruth Laredo (néeMeckler ) (divorced in 1974); his second wife was Sharon Robinson . With Robinson and the pianist Joseph Kalichstein, Laredo formed a trio in 1976, which toured extensively. He appeared regularly as a soloist and conductor with the Scottish Chamber Orch. in Glasgow from 1977, and led it on tours of the U.S. He taught at the St. Louis Cons, from 1983; was appointed co-artistic director of the Philadelphia Chamber Orch. in 1985. In 1992-93 he held the title of Distinguished Artist of the St. Paul (Minn.) Chamber Orch. In 1994 he served as president of the jury of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Laredo (y Unzueta), Jaime (Eduardo) (b Cochabamba, Bolivia, 1941). Amer. violinist of Bolivian birth. Début S. Francisco 1952. Won Queen Elisabeth of Belgians competition, 1959. NY début 1960, London 1961. World tours. Specialist in Bach and Handel.