Leo has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Julliard School and Masters of Music from University of Maryland.
He began musical studies with his mother, Rimma Sushanskaya, a violinist and pupil of the legendary David Oistrakh. He was a scholarship student at the Juilliard School, where he remained for 7 years under the tutelage of Dorothy DeLay. He also had the privilege of being coached by the great violinist, Isaac Stern. At age 15, he was invited by Zubin Mehta to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Graduate studies were completed at the University of Maryland with Daniel Heifetz and the Guarneri Quartet.
Performance and Teaching Experience
Leo is the Artistic Director of the National Chamber Ensemble. Recent and upcoming appearances include the Kennedy Center, Merkin Hall in NYC, debuts with Musica Animae Orchestra of Budapest at the Berlin Philharmonie and Leipzig Gewandhaus. This past year he performed recitals in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington DC as well as soloist with the Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin and the National Chamber Ensemble. He has performed five times in recital as guest artist at the Phillips Collection. He made his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2005 and has appeared with many orchestras, as a recitalist and chamber musician in esteemed concert halls worldwide and has been featured on numerous radio and television programs.
The orchestras he has performed as soloist with include: the Windsor Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Romanian State Philharmonic, Fairfax Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, Richmond Philharmonic, Britt Festival Orchestra, Berlin Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Orchestra, Columbia Orchestra, Staten Island Symphony, New Hampshire Symphony, Maryland Symphony and Alexandria Symphony among others.
Leo has a long history of being an outstanding educator and violin teacher. He has been on the faculty of University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg and the Academy of Fine Arts in Maryland besides maintaining his own private studio. His students are members of the American Youth Philharmonic as well as Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras(Four students have served as concertmaster). Former students have also graduated from the Juilliard School and have continued on to graduate school and careers in music.
Leo joined Levine’s Strings program in 2020.
Teaching Philosophy and Approach
“My goal is to help every student gain the greatest comfort and ease in playing their instrument as well as helping them become an intelligent musician.”