Julian Leviton, 89, resident of Albuquerque, died peacefully in his home Tuesday morning. He is survived by his son Lawrence Leviton, of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, daughter, Barbara Leviton of Albuquerque, her husband, Kenneth Hodder, and their son Sam Hodder.
Originally, from Chicago, Mr. Leviton spent his life devoted to music and teaching. As a young man, Mr. Leviton won several prestigious contests as a pianist in the Chicago area, including the Society of Young American Musicians Competition. He served in the army in World War II and was called upon, with only a few days notice, to play the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. His performance won rave reviews from Chicago music critics. Mr. Leviton toured Europe as a two-piano team with his first wife, Annabelle Shrago Leviton and they returned to the Chicago area to devote their lives to teaching and performing. For many years, Mr. Leviton taught at DePaul University, where he received the designation Professor Emeritus of Music. He was also on the faculty for the Music Institute of Chicago.
Mr. Leviton was one of the pioneers in bringing the Suzuki Piano method to the United States. He made several trips to Matsumoto, Japan to study the Suzuki Method, and worked with Dr. Suzuki and other teachers there. Performing groups from the (Betty) Haag-Leviton Suzuki Academy appeared in Carnegie Hall, on numerous television shows, and performed for several Popes during tours of Europe.
He had homes in Hawaii and Bellingham, Washington but, most notably, leaves behind a devoted studio of piano students of all ages, that he taught for the past twenty years in Scottsdale, Arizona. Later in life, he had a brief but happy marriage to pianist Peggy Leviton of Bellingham, Washington. Remarkably, with many physical infirmities, he continued commuting to Scottsdale to teach until just a few months ago, capping off a distinguished 60 year teaching career.
Mr. Leviton was loved by family and friends from around the world and will be greatly missed. Funeral Services were on Thursday, March 6, 20008 at the Fairview Memorial Park at 700 Yale Blvd SE in Albuquerque. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Phoenix Music Teachers Association at: http://www.phoenixmusicteachers.org/index.html