Leo Besen, Chief of
Artistic Development, arrived on July 4, 2005. On hearing
young Mr. Besen make his first audible statements the doctor who
delivered him said the new guy would surely be an opera singer.
However, thus far Mr. Besen’s predilection has proven more for
chamber music. In 2008, he began his violin studies with Dorothy
Roffman at the Thurnauer School of Music, and is currently a
student of Jinah Lee. He has performed in master classes for
Weigang Li (first violinist of the Shanghai String Quartet) and
Sharon Roffman (Leader of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra).
He is a member of the Thurnauer Symphony Orchestra, and
Co-Concertmaster of the Tenafly Middle School Seventh Grade
Orchestra. He danced in the Children’s Division of the School of
American Ballet from 2011 through 2013, studying there with Darci
Kistler, Sheryl Ware, Kaitlyn Gilliland, and Lisa de Ribčre. Mr.
Besen has performed various roles for the Young Actors Workshop at
the West Kortright Centre, as well as composing and performing
original music for the productions. He performed the title role of
“Tartuffe” at the JCC on the Palisades in the spring of 2018. He
is an avid photographer and videographer.