We heard of Leila Josefowicz for the first time after she won a MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008. "Out of blue, $500,000, no strings," declares the fellowship's page. But! Some strings were attached, because Leila received the prize for playing the violin. (Har.) Which she does play, with burning intensity. (Don't believe us? Check this out.)

However, some aren't as passionate as we are about her. SF Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman was perplexed at the time, "because [he has not] heard her give a really great performance since she was about nine years old."


But one cannot deny Leila's commitment to live, breathing music. Take, for example, the premiere concerto by Esa-Pekka Salonen next week in L.A., or the one by Colin Matthews coming up. What's more, Leila will have the opportunity to prove all doubters wrong starting tomorrow: she'll perform the SF Symphony premiere of Thomas Ades's violin concerto, Concentric Paths. On the same slate, James Gaffigan will conduct Symphonies by Haydn and Mozart.

We chatted with Leila Josefowicz recently.