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First Name: Leonard
Last Name: Sharrow
Bio: Leonard Sharrow was born in New York City on August 4, 1915. He attended the public schools of New York, graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1933. He graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in 1935. Sharrow's first professional appointment was as principal bassoonist of the National Symphony in Washington under Hans Kindler, a position which he held for two seasons, 1935-37. Then, he joined the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini from 1937-41. From 1941-45 he served with the Armed Forces of the United States. Returning to civilian life, he played for half a season in 1946 as principal bassoonist of the Buffalo Philharmonic under William Steinberg, and then for one season in a similar position with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Karl Krueger. He was invited by Toscanini to rejoin the NBC Symphony as principal bassoonist, which position he held from 1947-51. In 1951 he became principal bassoonist of the Chicago Symphony, a position he was to hold until 1964, serving under Rafael Kubelik, Fritz Reiner and Jean Martinon. In 1964 he left the orchestral world to accept a full-time appointment as professor of bassoon at Indiana University, remaining at that capacity until 1977. In that year, he decided to return to the field of performance, joining the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as principal bassoonist, serving under Andre Previn and Lorin Maazel, until his retirment from that position just this year (1987). Sharrow has also taught at several other universities and conservatories, including the Juilliard School, Roosevelt University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie-Mellon University, and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has also served as teacher and performing artist at many music festivals, including the Casals Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the New College Music Festival, and many others. He also serves as an editor of bassoon music for the International Music Company, with over 25 works having been issued under his editorship. He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the NBC Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony and others in the United States and Europe. He appears as soloist on six commercial recordings, including his renowned performance of the Mozart Concerto with the NBC Symphony under Toscanini, issued by RCA. It would be almost impossible to list all the honors which have been bestowed on this remarkable musician, but perhaps one of the significant was conferred in 1985, when he was the recipient of the first annual award of the Toscanini Collection Association in recognition of his excellence and dedication in perpetuating Toscanini's memory and high ideals.
Source: Journal of the IDRS 26 (1998)