Born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, Grace Leehan began learning the violin at age 7 and the viola at age 11. She studied both instruments throughout her Bachelors at the University of Auckland with Stephen Larsen, where she gained First Class Honours as well as the Senior Scholar Award. Ultimately deciding to dedicate herself to the viola, she furthered her
viola studies at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart with Andra Darzins, where she is currently completing her Masters. Despite New Zealand being a small country, Grace experienced a rich and full music education covering chamber music, orchestra, and solo playing. Chamber music being one of her passions, she has been active in various ensembles, some which have been a finalist in the ‘Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Chamber Music Competition’, and a two-time winner of the ‘University of Auckland Chamber Music Society Prize’. Within orchestral playing, she was Principal Viola for the ‘New Zealand Symphony Orchestra: National Youth Orchestra’ and in Germany with the ‘Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra’, and was also a member of the ‘Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’ and the ‘Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’. As a soloist, she has been a prize winner of the ‘New Zealand National Concerto Competition’ and the ‘Gisborne International Music Competition’. She is currently the violist in the academy of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.