Sharan Leventhal

Professor of Violin
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Sharan Leventhal joined the Conservatory in 2005 and is a professor of violin. She teaches applied violin, chamber music, and contemporary performance practice.

Since winning the 1984 Kranichsteiner Musikpreis in Darmstadt, Germany, she has built an international reputation as a champion of new music. Among her more than 130 premieres are works by Gunther Schuller, Ben Johnston, Virgil Thomson, Pauline Oliveros, Taina León, Simon Bainbridge, Scott Wheeler, Matt Aucoin, and Fred Hersch. Leventhal has been equally active in traditional venues. Her solo appearances include performances with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra; the Toledo, Milwaukee, Gulf Coast, Topeka, Dayton, and Albany symphonies; and the Wisconsin and Cleveland chamber orchestras. She is a founding member of the Gramercy Trio, the Kepler Quartet, and Marimolin, and is a member of the Boston Artists Ensemble. Her recordings include the complete string quartets of Ben Johnston (Kepler Quartet on New World, 2016, 2011, and 2006), the violin and piano works of Virgil Thomson (Northeastern Recordings, 1990), Gramercy Trio (PARMA Recordings, 2008; Naxos, 2007; Newport Classic, Ltd., 2004), and Marimolin (GM Recordings, 1996 and 1988, and Catalyst/BMG, 1995). Broadcasts include the BBC, ORF (Austria), Musikradion (Sweden), and WNYC.

Leventhal has received more than 30 grants, including awards from Chamber Music America (2011), the Fromm Foundation (2011), the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording (2011, 2006, 2003, 1999, 1992), the Koussevitzky Music Foundation (1992), and the National Endowment for the Arts (1993, 1988, 1987).

She has served on the faculties of Brandeis University, Michigan State University, Berklee College of Music, and the Bruckner-Konservatorium in Linz, Austria. Summer teaching includes the Wintergreen Music Festival, Fresno Summer Orchestra Academy, Interlochen Arts Camp, and the Asian Youth Orchestra. She performs and teaches throughout the United States and Europe. She has also written articles for the magazine American String Teachers (2014, 2015).

Leventhal earned a B.M. from Boston University and an M.M. from Yale University.

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • New Music USA grant (Kepler Quartet, 2014)
  • Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant (Gramercy Trio, 2011)
  • Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording (Kepler Quartet, 2011)
  • BBC International Chamber Music Disc of the Month and 2nd Place Chamber Music CD of the Year: String Quartets of Ben Johnston, Vol. II (Kepler Quartet/New World Records, 2011)
  • Fanfare Magazine Disc of the Year: String Quartets of Ben Johnston, Vol. II (Kepler Quartet/New World Records, 2011)

Notable Recent Works

  • String Quartets of Ben Johnston, Vol. III (Kepler Quartet/New World Records, 2016)
  • Bargemusic, New York City (2016)
  • Cutting Edge Festival, New York City (2015)
  • Premiere of Matt Aucoin's Piano Trio No. 1 (Gramercy Trio, 2015)
  • Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival (2014)
In Their Own Words

My studio cultivates a supportive environment based on mindful practice and effortless playing. Imagination is our only limitation.