Mischa was born in Riga, Latvia, and began his violin studies at the age of seven and made his debut with a symphony at the age of twelve. At seventeen he was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory to the class of the legendary Leonid Kogan. He has also studied with such renowned master performers as Nathan Milstein, Mischa Mischakoff, Roman Totenberg, Henri Temianka, and with Jean Fournier of the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria.
Top prizewinner of the 1983 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, Mr. Lefkowitz also was winner of the City of Paris “Music Francaise” prize from the 1985 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. Other awards include First Prize of the Rotary International Competition in California, prizes at the Paganini International Competition, Bach Festival Young Artists Awards, All-State contest for violin soloists and Concertino-Prague Radio Competition.
Mr. Lefkowitz has been a recipient of a solo recitalist fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and, since 1985, California Arts Council Touring grants. He has appeared as soloist with major orchestras in the United States, Canada, England, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Finland. He has performed with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, California Chamber Symphony, American Chamber Symphony, Accademica Camerata and Victoria Symphony, among many others. His recital appearances have been in Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall in New York, Philips Collection in Washington D.C., Salle Playel in Paris, the Wilshire Ebell in Los Angeles, California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, and in many other prestigious series. He is a frequent guest artist in many summer festivals including Meadow Brook, Aspen and Kneisel Hall Festivals. Many of his concerts have been heard on CBS and PBS television networks and on radio.
Lefkowitz’s discography includes many world premiere recordings and works by Mozart, Giardini, Bloch, and Rózsa, on the Laurel, Cambria Sequence, and Pantheon record labels. Most recently he released an album of romantic concertos including Fauré, Sibelius, and Dicidue violin concertos with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra on Cambria label.
Mr. Lefkowitz is the Founder and Music Director of the chamber orchestra and string ensemble Masterpiece Virtuosi.
Mr. Lefkowitz serves as a violin professor on the music faculty of Chapman University in Orange. Many of his students have become professional musicians themselves. They perform with different orchestras on the East Coast and in Southern California, working in the recording industry and teaching in California school districts.
Since 1977, Mr. Lefkowitz has been a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. During 2001, he served as guest Violin Professor on the faculty of UC Irvine.