Based in New York City, Leerone is pursuing a Master's Degree in Violin Performance at The Juilliard School.
Israeli-American violinist, Leerone Hakami, embarked on a campaign of begging her parents to play the violin at age two. It took three years, but by age five, she stood proudly with her 1/8th sized violin that could barely make a sound. This proved to be the right decision on her parents’ part, as she was recently heard from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, to Lincoln Center, to Israel, to New Mexico’s Navajo Reservation.
Her passionate artistry translates into her community, as teaching serves a significant role in her life. Currently, Leerone teaches a group violin class for young students as faculty of Harmony Program. She is also on teaching faculty at Bronx Arts Ensemble, and teaches private students. As co-founder of The Heartbeat Project, Leerone and five of her colleagues—as recipients of The Juilliard School’s Entrepreneurship grant— have conducted an annual workshop on the Navajo Reservation’s Navajo Technical University, sharing music through math to K-12 students. Leerone was a recipient of the Morse Teaching Fellowship, where she served as a teacher’s assistant in Harmony Program. Leerone is also a proud recipient of Juilliard’s Gluck Community Service Fellowship, where she interactively performs in various NYC healthcare facilities in a quintet of musicians and dancers. 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. This project sparked a strong desire in her to one day open a conservatory in Israel for Arab and Jewish children to learn both styles of music together, collaborating and connecting through music.
Although classically trained, 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. A strong advocate for improvisation, Leerone was 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. She is also a member of Collaborative Arts Ensemble, a group of musicians, dancers, and actors who share their political voice through art. She also enjoyed participating in Juilliard’s ChoreoComp for three out of her four years at Juilliard. ChoreoComp gave her the opportunity to premiere a work created by a composer and choreographer for a small ensemble of musicians and dancers.
After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from The Juilliard School, Leerone just can’t seem to get enough of the place, as she is now pursuing her Master’s Degree at The Juilliard School under distinguished pedagogue, Lewis Kaplan. In Israel, she has worked under the tutelage of Anna Agre and Hagai Shaham. In New York, Leerone learned with Arik Braude and Lewis Kaplan in Mannes Preparatory Division, where she spent her Saturdays and served as co-concertmaster of the Mannes Philharmonic. Since beginning her studies, being a member of the Juilliard Orchestra has allowed her to work with world renowned conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Jeffrey Milarsky, Gianandrea Noseda, Case Scaglione, amongst others.
With a passion for chamber music, Leerone was a proud member of the Juilliard Honors Chamber Music program along with her string quartet. This quartet would perform for Holocaust survivors at New York City’s Dorot, while spending time getting to know them and sharing their stories. Her time playing chamber music gave her the honor of working with esteemed chamber music faculty, such as Toby Appel, Natasha Brofsky, Veda Kaplinsky, Paul Katz, Dorothy Lawson, Jon Manasse, Masumi Per Rostad, Samuel Rhodes, Astrid Schween, Laurie Smukler, Gary Thor Wedow, Areta Zhulla. She has also participated in Juilliard’s ChamberFest three years at Juilliard. This program gives lovers of chamber music a week chamber intensive during winter recess to extensively study a chamber work with regular rehearsals and coachings, with the goal of performing it within the week. She has also appeared in Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society’s Young Musicians Program.
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, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Vermont Mozart Festival. She had the opportunity to appear as a soloist with the Vermont Mozart Festival orchestra, playing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. At such summer festivals she was able to participate in masterclasses of Lewis Kaplan, Espen Lilleslatten, Frans Helmerson, Lawrence Dutton, and the Pacifica Quartet.
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 New York Artist’s International Competition, the Silver Prize of the International Virtuoso Competition, and the top prize in the Great Neck House Young Artists Competition. Leerone appeared as a soloist with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta, and had the opportunity to perform Saint-Saëns’ third violin concerto in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She has appeared in publications of Newsday and the Great Neck Record as a Scholar Artist of the Long Island Arts Alliance Association.
When not making music, Leerone enjoys coloring in her Adult Mandala Coloring Book, laughing until her stomach hurts, and eating spicy foods.