Leanna Ginsburg


Hometown: Richmondville, NY

Alma maters: Purchase College, Northwestern University, Lynn University

Instagram: @leannaginsburg 

Photos by Matt Dine and Alan Ginsburg


Awards/Competitions: Winner, 2018 Chicago Women Musicians Club Competition; 2017–18 Walfrid Kujala Scholarship; Outstanding Senior Award, 2016 Purchase College Classical Division; Outstanding Junior Award, 2015 Purchase College Classical Division

Appearances: Chautauqua Music Festival, 2017–18; OrchestraNext 2016–17; National Music Festival, 2016; Eastern Music Festival, 2015

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? In eighth grade I was accepted into the New York State Honor Band. That experience exposed me to so many amazing musicians and opened my mind to the possibility of pursuing music as a career. From that moment on I knew I wanted to be a musician.

How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply? I heard about TŌN from friends who were auditioning for the program. I wanted to apply so that I could further my musical career and studies by focusing intensely on orchestral music. I also wanted a chance to be back in upstate New York, so I’m very happy to be here!

Who is your biggest inspiration? I don’t think I can narrow this down to one person! My family is my biggest inspiration. My mom, dad, and brothers have taught me so much, and continue to inspire me daily.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? This past year I worked for a non-profit organization in South Florida called Mind and Melody. I helped lead music sessions in assisted living facilities for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. There were days when we would arrive at the facility and the participants were sad, quiet, or not making eye contact. By the end of the session they would be dancing, laughing, playing, and singing along! It was the most fun and rewarding experience I’ve ever had as a musician.

Do you have any embarrassing performance stories? Of course! One story that comes to mind is from high school. I used to play the violin, and I was sitting concertmaster for a performance for the entire high school. We were in the middle of performing, my stand partner went to turn the page and there was no more music! I had forgotten the last page of music! We gave each other a look of terror, and then we proceeded to play the last page from memory! We couldn’t believe we had memorized it, but afterward some people in our section asked us why our bowings were off.

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? It’s okay to have and pursue more than one passion! I was always told that I needed to focus on one path in order to be successful, but I love many different art forms, and finding a way to weave them all together has been extremely rewarding.

Favorite non-classical musician or band: Frank Ocean

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the harp, but recently I’ve also been interested in learning drum set.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? I would probably be working as a photographer full time. Right now I work as a photographer part-time, so if I had to make a change, then that would most likely be my choice.

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Provincetown has always been one of my favorite places. My family vacationed on Cape Cod every summer, and we would always spend time in Provincetown. It is such a colorful, accepting, and fun environment. I think visiting Provincetown taught me about another culture and how to be open-minded and accepting.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: When I was in elementary school I had two pet rats! Their names were Rugrat and Missy.