Cellist Laurence Lesser was a top prizewinner in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and a guest performer in the historic Heifetz-Piatigorsky concerts and recordings of the Tchaikovsky Sextet and Spohr Octet for RCA-Victor. In addition, Mr. Lesser has been a soloist with major orchestras and has appeared at music festivals around the world. He has also been actively involved with the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. Mr. Lesser served as Artistic Director of the New England Conservatory from 1982-1983 and as President from 1983-1996. In 2005, Mr. Lesser was named a Chevalier du Violoncelle by the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University, awarded for distinguished achievements and contributions to the world of cello playing and teaching.