MacArthur Fellows Program

Leila Josefowicz

Violinist | Class of 2008

Broadening the instrument’s repertoire and captivating audiences through her juxtaposition of the avant-garde and eclectic with the more traditional.

New York, New York
30 at time of award
Published January 27, 2008

About Leila's Work

Leila Josefowicz is a young violinist who is captivating audiences with her technically precise and emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary works. Since her Carnegie Hall debut at the age of sixteen, Josefowicz has blossomed into one of today’s preeminent soloists, performing around the globe with the world’s most prestigious orchestras and conductors. Her recent recording of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Violin Sonata (2006) features eloquent interpretations of these haunting and sorrowful pieces, written in Stalinist Russia. Not content to simply master the standard repertoire of Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky, Josefowicz is stretching the mold of the classical violinist in her passionate advocacy of contemporary composers and their work. She is a close and regular collaborator with the leading composers of the day, often premiering their new compositions. Through her performances, recordings, and recital programs, she introduces traditional, classical music audiences to noteworthy new works, illustrating the excitement and beauty that emanates from the juxtaposition of the avant-garde and eclectic with the more traditional. Josefowicz’s genuine commitment to the music of today, coupled with her keen musical intelligence and virtuosity, is inspiring new compositions for the violin and significantly broadening the instrument’s repertoire.


Leila Josefowicz received a B.Mus. (1997) from the Curtis Institute of Music. She has performed with orchestras throughout the United States and internationally, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the London Symphony.

Select News Coverage of Leila Josefowicz
September 28, 2016
"Violinist Leila Josefowicz Promises Adams Concerto Will Make You Want to Dance"
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Leila Josefowicz, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
June 2, 2016
"A Maverick Soloist Offers a Classic New Work"
The Washington Post
Leila Josefowicz, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
November 11, 2015
"Josefowicz Hits Late Groove with Contemporary Works"
New York Classical Review
Leila Josefowicz, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
November 11, 2015
"Review: The Violinist Leila Josefowicz at Carnegie Hall"
The New York Times
Leila Josefowicz, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
March 20, 2015
"Josefowicz, Novacek, Wigmore Hall"
The Arts Desk
Leila Josefowicz, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
View all news

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Please credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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