About Lyon Leifer
Lyon Leifer is recognized in Europe, the Americas, China and India as a master flutist who performs both on western flutes and on the bansuri (north Indian keyless bamboo flute). After early studies in Chicago with Emil Eck and Walfrid Kujala, Mr. Leifer attended the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Julius Baker. After graduating, he became a member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Pursuing an interest in improvised raga music and flute playing in India, he then accepted a Fulbright Grant to study there with Devendra Murdeshwar, the inheritor of the legacy of the great Pannalal Ghosh. Remaining in India for five years, Mr. Leifer won the praise of Indian audiences and critics for his authentic renditions of raga melodies.
Since returning to Chicago, Mr. Leifer has become one of the city's leading flutists and flute teachers. He gives recitals on Western flutes, both period and modern, and performs as principal flutist in the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra. He was principal flutist for the twenty-year run of the Ars Viva Orchestra and for twenty-seven years in the group, Music of the Baroque. There he was often featured soloist in that ensemble's concerts and syndicated broadcasts. Mr. Leifer has presented recitals on the Notre Dame University Guest Artist series, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial concert series, as well as a series of recitals for Mostly Music and a series of raga concerts at the University of Chicago. He has also performed raga music at Symphony Center in Chicago, and at the Universities of Illinois at Urbana, Washington, Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Rochester, Iowa and at Colgate University, as well as at conventions of the National Flute Association and of the British Flute Society and at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities. He has broadcast recitals of raga music on radio station WFMT. His CD recording of Bloch's "Suite Modale" for flute and strings, with the Chicago String Ensemble on the Centaur label has received national attention and frequent airplay. He has filled in in the flute section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Leifer has also recorded on the Music of the Baroque, Cedille, Southport and Rasa Music labels. He has won numerous awards including scholarships at Juilliard, a renewed and extended Fulbright Student Grant, a senior fellowship of the American Institute of Indian Studies, grants from the Illinois Arts Council and Chicago Artists Abroad, and the 2005-06 Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, during which he performed multiple recitals in Mumbai as well as performing at Kolkata, Pune, and Bhopal. In 2011 he also visited India, performing in Delhi, Mumbai and Jodhpur in honor of the birth centenary of Pannalal Ghosh.
Mr. Leifer has also offered master classes in venues including Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Istanbul, Caracas, and Barbados.