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.