Kelly Leon-Pearce

Kelly Leon-Pearce
Member since 1990
Hometown: Grosse Pointe, MI

Musical influences:
Aside from my teachers and the artists that I heard growing up, playing music with my older sisters has always been great. Suzanne also plays violin in the SFS, and Stephanie is an incredible pianist. Through the years, we learned a lot about working together and about the way the music fits together. 

On being in the Orchestra:
It's exhilarating to be in the midst of such a wonderful and luxurious sound, and being able to communicate with an audience and share intimate moments with them is incredible. The Mahler symphonies are especially powerful that way: You go through so many emotions, and to be able to share that with the musicians and the audience is very meaningful.

Favorite works to play:
I enjoy the challenge of playing unaccompanied Bach. While the music is very structured, it's also gorgeous and soulful. It can be very difficult to get all the different lines to speak the way you want them to, but when you do, it’s very satisfying. Also Mozart—it’s so beautiful, and it sounds so simple, and yet it’s so hard to play well. 

Aside from playing in the Orchestra and playing chamber music, I love to be in the kitchen; whether it's trying new recipes for dinner parties or baking delectable treats for my colleagues and family. My kids  are active, award-winning classical musicians, as well being in a rock band called Crunchy Frog: both of which gives me and my husband plenty to do!

Favorite recording:
I love the Budapest String Quartet recording of the Debussy and Ravel string quartets. It takes me back to when I was little. We would have that recording on late at night and go to sleep listening to it. 

Profiled in our Meet the SFS Musicians series, Kelly Leon-Pearce discusses how she makes time for family both in music and in the kitchen.