Violinist Lara Lev was born in Siberia in the former U.S.S.R. She attended the Kazan Special School of Music, where she studied with Vadim Afanasiev, and the Moscow Conservatory, where she studied with Yuri Yankelevich and Vladimir Spivakov. She received her DMA, with highest honors, from the Gnesin Institute. Lev has been a soloist with the Odessa Philharmonia, the Moscow Virtuosos, the Moscow Soloists, and other orchestras. She is violinist with the Odessa Conservatory Quartet and was active in the Union of Composers Society for Contemporary Music, giving premieres of several works. Since becoming a Finnish citizen in the 1990s, Lev has performed in Finland with symphonies and chamber orchestras, as well as in recital. She adjudicates international violin competitions, and made several recordings (“the Odessa Baroque cycles”) for radio and TV in the former U.S.S.R. Her recordings for the Finnish Broadcasting Company feature rarely played major works for violin and piano.
Her discography includes a two-disc recording of the complete solo violin music of J.S. Bach (Warner Classics/Apex); and the complete Violin and Piano Sonatas by Ferruccio Busoni (Finlandia Records/Warner Classics), which was named Strad Selection by The Strad magazine and received a full five-star rating from BBC Music magazine.
Lev has performed with pianists Robert McDonald, Lexo Toradze, Cyprien Katsaris, and others. She has held teaching positions in Russia, Finland, and Germany, at festivals in France, Poland, Israel, Germany, Slovakia, the U.S., Holland, Finland, Spain, and Italy. She is on the violin faculties at the Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College and Sibelius Academy-University of the Arts in Helsinki, Finland. At Juilliard, she has been a College faculty member since 2008 and a Pre-College faculty member since 2009.