The 2011 Maestro Award

Jeff Leiter & Gregory Vajda

We are proud to announce that this year’s Maestro Award recipient is Jeffrey Shattuck Leiter, a long-time part of the MIM family, civic and community leader and supporter of the arts.

Presented annually, the Maestro Award is the highest recognition of service to Music in the Mountains. The award recognizes work in pursuit of our mission to bring major cultural, educational and economic contributions to our community through performances of predominantly classical music. Those honored are selected for extraordinary contributions of time, talent, “and treasure.”

Jeff Leiter served on the MIM Board of Directors for a decade, and as Board President from 2007-2009. He has been a key member of MIM standing committees. He is a generous donor of funds, time and talent, including opening his home for MIM special events. Leiter is extremely knowledgeable about classical music and has often helped with MIM’s programming. He is passionate about MIM’s mission and vision, and we are truly blessed to have him as a part of this organization.

Leiter is a fifth-generation member of Berkeley’s founding Shattuck family, some of whom wrote the charter for the City of Oakland and served as the third and fourth mayors. Leiter himself was the 19th Mayor of Berkeley, and has served on many boards of directors. These include the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, architectural and design associations, medical centers and hospice care organizations, community funding, the Rotary Club of Berkeley and many more.

Leiter relocated his family’s real estate investment corporation, M.K. Black Estate Co., to Grass Valley in 1997. He has continued to be an active member of the community. Leiter was awarded Berkeley’s most prestigious award, The Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal, in 2001. He now makes Grass Valley his permanent home as does his sister Robin and his mother Milda Leiter.

The Maestro Award was first given in 1998 and the statuette was sculpted by Nevada City’s Dr. Marian Gallaher. We are honored to pass this award on to Jeff Leiter who has given so much to MIM and to every community he has joined.

Past Maestro Award Recipients

2009 – Robert & Carol Hamilton, Gene & Nina Zepp
2008 – Gail Fox, Paul Perry (Artistic Director Emeritus)
2007 – Diane Robertson, Mark Strate
2006 – Wayne Pittenger
2005 – Frank & LaVonne Amaral, Dieter Juli, Ed Robinson
2004 – Hazel Shewell, William & Mary Ghidotti Foundation
2003 – Jan Doting, Sylvia Mitchell, Laura Keranen, Desmond Gallagher
2002 – Madelyn DiMugno, James Maxwell, Virginia & Butch Thresh
2001 – Marian Gallaher, MD, Dick Wiebe, Isabell Thomas
2000 – Helen “Hank” Daggett, Jack Roberts, David Griswold
1999 – William & Shirley Griffin, Marguerite Blickenstaff
1998 – Kathryn Clauset, Beverly Erickson, William Wetherall


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