About Sharan

About Sharan
Sharan Leventhal as a childWhen I was four, I started begging for a violin. I don’t think I had ever seen one, but I always heard the violin on the radio or on records and I thought it was the most beautiful sound ever. I would follow my mom around the house, tugging at her, saying, “I want to play the violin!” After a year and a half of ‘nudging’, my parents finally rented an instrument and found me a teacher.

At my first lesson, all I was shown was how to hold the instrument. I rushed home and shut myself in my room. An hour later, I emerged and played Frère Jaques for my parents. I retreated to my room, came out a while later and announced, “Look! I can make it sound different.” Then I played the same tune in several different keys. Of course, I don’t actually remember any of this – it’s just the story my parents tell.

I went to summer camp at Interlochen (Michigan) when I was 10 and then spent several summers at Meadowmount in upstate New York. Those were wonderful times, and it was a real eye-opener being around so many serious young musicians – ones who practiced!

I think the most important thing for me was the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. I joined in seventh grade, and stayed in all the way through high school. The orchestra was almost my second home. I made many lasting friendships during those years and still get to work with some of those friends now. It felt like I was part of something important, and I even had the opportunity to play concertos every year. Back when I joined, WYSO was only one orchestra and I was the only 7th grader. Now the organization has four orchestras, and kids much younger than I was have the chance to play and make great music. What a wonderful thing that is.

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