Based in New York City, Leerone is pursuing her Bachelors in Violin Performance at The Juilliard School.
Israeli-American violinist, Leerone Hakami, started begging her parents to let her play at age two after being inspired by a concert she went to. Her parents finally allowed her to begin her studies at age five. In Israel, she has worked under the tutelage of Anna Agre and Hagai Shaham. In New York, Leerone studied under the instruction of Arik Braude and Lewis Kaplan in Mannes Preparatory Division, where she served as concertmaster of the Mannes Philharmonic. As the recipient of top prizes in multiple competitions, Leerone had the opportunity to solo in halls such as Lincoln Center’s Merkin Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Leerone was awarded prizes such as the Grand Prize of the 2014 New York Artist’s International Competition, the Silver Prize of the 2014 International Virtuoso Competition, and the first prize in the 2010 and 2011 Great Neck House Young Artists Competition. She also had the honor of performing with a chamber group as part of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Young Musicians Program. In October of 2014, Leerone performed Saint Saens’ third Violin Concerto as a soloist with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, as a winner of the New York Concerti Sinfonietta Competition. Leerone also appeared in publications of Newsday and the Great Neck Record as a Scholar Artist Winner of the Long Island Arts Alliance Association.
A lover of travel, Leerone has spent her summers attending various summer music festivals all over the world. She has attended and performed in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont, Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, Fete Musicales de Savoie in France, Keshet Eilon Summer Mastercourse in Israel, New Virtuosi Summer Mastercourse in Italy, and Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, Bach Virtuosi Festival in Maine, and the Vermont Mozart Festival. At such summer festivals she was able to participate in masterclasses of Lewis Kaplan, Lawrence Dutton, and the Pacifica Quartet. Leerone also worked with renowned chamber coaches such as Paul Katz, Masumi Per Rostad, Samuel Rhodes, Jon Manasse, Laurie Smukler, and members of the Ying, Shanghai, Juilliard, and Jack Quartets.
Leerone enjoys a variety of musical styles and has participated in diverse collaborations. She has collaborated with members of International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), has recorded with DJ Libranine, and has participated in the Off-Broadway production of Magic the Play. An advocate for improvisation, Leerone is part of the NOVA Ensemble- an improvisatory collaboration between musicians and dancers. With NOVA, she conducted a workshop in Collège de Montréal for high school students to collaborate and learn the connection between improvisation for music and dance.
Leerone is currently a fourth year undergraduate at The Juilliard School under the instruction of Lewis Kaplan. Since beginning her studies, she has worked with world renowned conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Gianandrea Noseda, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Jeffery Milarsky, Case Scaglione, amongst others. An active member of her school, Leerone has participated and performed in Juilliard’s Choreocomp, Axiom, Pianoscope, Chamberfest, and New Juilliard Ensemble. Leerone is also a proud recipient of Juilliard’s Gluck Community Service Fellowship, where she gets a chance to perform in various NYC healthcare facilities along with a small ensemble of musicians and dancers.
As sharing her passion for music with her community is incredibly important to Leerone, teaching serves as a significant part of her life. As co-founder of The Heartbeat Project, Leerone and five of her colleagues have conducted an annual workshop on the Navajo Reservation’s Navajo Technical University to educate K-12 students about math through music. Leerone is also a recipient of the Morse Teaching Fellowship, where she teaches a small class of elementary-aged violinists as part of Harmony Program. She also gives private violin lessons throughout the year. As the founder of the Joining Hands Project, Leerone received a Community Engagement Grant from The Juilliard School to facilitate a workshop conducted at the Yad be Yad school in Jerusalem, Israel and the Arab Jewish Community Center in Yafo, Israel. In this workshop she both studied, performed, and taught music of both Arabic and Israeli cultures and promoted discussion of cultural celebration and tolerance. Additionally, her string quartet performs regularly for Holocaust survivors, while spending time getting to know them and sharing their stories.
When not making music, Leerone enjoys coloring in her Adult Mandala Coloring Book, laughing until her stomach hurts, and eating spicy foods.