Sandra Layman, violinist and violist, studied violin with Werner Lywen (then concertmaster, Washington DC National Symphony), Paul Zukofsky (at the New England Conservatory), Martin Friedmann (longtime member, Seattle Symphony), Stanley Ritchie (then first violinist with the Philadelphia String Quartet; now early music specialist at Indiana University), and with Petre Lefterescu, Octavian Ratiu, and George Manoliu in Bucharest, Romania.
She studied music as an undergraduate at New England Conservatory, Oberlin, and American University, and also earned a BA in history from the University of Pittsburgh. While continuing to perform classical violin and viola, she earned an international reputation for her passionate and soulful performances of klezmer, Balkan (particularly Romanian and Greek), and Near Eastern music. She pursued graduate studies in ethnomusicology at the University of Washington (on a FLAS fellowship) and later studied and researched music in Romania on IREX and Fulbright fellowships. She appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Romania.
Her CD, Little Blackbird: Klezmer, Romanian, Greek, Turkish, and Hungarian Violin Music, has been acclaimed internationally.
She is a member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA), Seattle Music Teachers Association (SMTA), Washington State Music Teachers Association (WSMTA), and Washington State String Teachers Association (WASTA).
Artist Support Program 2002: Recordings of a variety of traditional music for violin