Sharan Leventhal joined the Boston Conservatory at Berklee faculty in 2005 and teaches applied violin, chamber music, and contemporary performance practice. In 2016 she began working with students enrolled at Berklee as well.
Since winning the 1984 Kranischsteiner Musikpreis in Darmstadt, Germany, she has built an international reputation as a champion of new music. More than 130 premieres include works by Gunther Schuller, Ben Johnston, Virgil Thomson, Pauline Oliveros, Taina León, Simon Bainbridge, Scott Wheeler, Matt Aucoin, and Fred Hersch.
Equally active in traditional venues, Leventhal’s 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, among others. She is a founding member of the Gramercy Trio, the Kepler Quartet, and Marimolin, and a member of the Boston Artists Ensemble.
Leventhal has received over 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 Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation (1992), and the National Endowment for the Arts (1993, 1988, 1987).
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 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. Publications appear in American String Teacher (2014, 2015).
Leventhal holds degrees from Yale University (M.M., 1980), and Boston University (B.M., 1979).
My studio cultivates a supportive environment based on mindful practice and effortless playing. Imagination is our only limitation.
Interacting with students, helping them discover their potential on the violin and exploring the depths of expression possible through music is one of my greatest joys.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
We work together to asses each person's strengths and weaknesses in their physical connection to the violin, addressing the issues we discover. We discuss the kinds of repertoire that interests them, then explore the possibilities!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a BM from Boston University and an MM from Yale, as well as decades of experience as a soloist and chamber musician.
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching at the age of twelve, subbing for my own teacher during his summer vacation.
What types of students have you worked with?
I work primarily with college and graduate students, but have taken on a few high school age students, post grads and an occasional serious adult amateur.