‘5 Minutes with Leo Sushansky’ and National Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Concert is This Sunday, December 14th at 4:30 PM at Artisphere Spectrum Theatre

Leonid (“Leo”) Sushansky is a critically acclaimed violinist and the Artistic Director of the National Chamber Ensemble, Artisphere’s ensemble-in-residence, was interviewed by The Rosslyn Bulletin. This interview originally appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Rosslyn, a publication of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

Five Minutes with Leo Sushansky

Leo sat down with the Rosslyn BID’s Mary Dalao recently to talk about NCE’s 2014-2015 season, his experiences as a performer, and what he does outside of work.

Violinist Leonid (Leo) Sushansky.
Violinist Leonid (Leo) Sushansky.

Rosslyn: What excites you most about NCE’s 2014-2015 Season?

Leonid: We have some wonderful collaborations this year. We opened our season last month with a Night of Italian Opera, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute. Coming up soon is our Annual Holiday Concert. We invite young musicians to join us to perform classical masterpieces and end the evening with a Carols Sing-Along led by Patrick McCoy. In March, we’re collaborating with Bowen McCauley Dance. Lucy Bowen McCauley is choreographing one of the most famous works by J.S. Bach. And on Valentine’s Day, we’re doing an all-Tchaikovsky performance. He’s one of the most romantic composers of all time, and it will be a beautiful performance.

So, how did you get interested in the violin?

My mom is a professional violinist. I was on stage before I was born, so I guess you could say I had a pre-birth music education.

What do you like most about the violin?

It’s the instrument closest to the human voice, and I love the expression it creates. I love moving people with music and telling stories.

What do you like the least?

I hate it when a string breaks during a performance. It’s a shock to the instrument, myself, the audience and often you have to leave the stage to change it.

How much do you practice?

Being a musician is like being an athlete. To be in good form, you must work out each day. If I have a major performance coming up, I practice 3-5 hours a day. You can’t practice continuously, so it takes all day to do this. It’s like another full time job.

What do you do for fun?

I love going to the movies and the theater. I love the arts, in general. I rollerblade, too.

Anything else you want to share?

My dream to found NCE was inspired by my love of musical performance and theater.  I wanted performances to be fun, intimate and educational, and on a very high level. As I start my eighth season with NCE, I’m thankful to this community for being so supportive of my dream.


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Sunday December 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre at Artisphere,
1611 N. Kent Street (off Wilson Blvd.), Arlington, VA 22209
(2 blocks from the Rosslyn Metro, free garage parking in the Spectrum Garage, entrance in back from Arlington Ridge Road)

Special guests: Mary-Claire Burick (guest host), Annabelle Song 12 (piano), Evelyn Song 15 (violin), Andrew Pal (Guitar), and Patrick McCoy (tenor)

ADMISSION is $30 Adult and $15 Student.

For tickets call (888)841-2787, or
purchase them online.

NCE’s Holiday Concert brings classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together in one fun program for the whole family! The National Chamber Ensemble invites young emerging musicians to join in the fun filled performance.

Outstanding sister musicians Annabelle Song 12 (piano) and Evelyn Song 15 (violin) will perform as soloists with the ensemble.

Violinists from age 10 to adult will join NCE for a special group performance of a Bach masterpiece!

Featured on the program will be music by Dvorak, Bach, Tchaikovsky, a Chanukah Medley, and Leroy Anderson’s Holiday Favorite “Sleighride,” as well as some other surprises.

Twelve year- old Anabelle Song will perform Bach’s Piano Concerto in F minor.

Her sister Evelyn Song 15, will perform the delightful Duets by Shostakovich for Two Violins with NCE Artistic Director Leo Sushansky and she will thrill with the virtuoso fireworks of Wieniawsky’s Polonaise in D Major.

Pop rock guitarist Andrew Pal will join the ensemble for a couple of special holiday selections.

The performance will conclude with a Carols Sing-Along to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Tenor, media personality and Washington Life columnist Patrick McCoy returns to lead the Sing-Along.

The dynamic Mary-Claire Burick, new President of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District joins NCE as guest host!

Reception to follow performance. All are invited. Meet the performers and celebrate with friends old and new!


The National Chamber Ensemble is supported in part by the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

The National Chamber Ensemble is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

An Interview with National Chamber Ensemble’s Leo Sushansky on Their May 10th Mother’s Day Concert by Jane Coyne.


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