Leanne Ungar


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Leanne Ungar, professor in the Music Production and Engineering Department at Berklee College of Music, is a producer/engineer with 30 years of experience in records, films, and television scores. With technical skills that encompass analog equipment and digital applications, Ungar has produced or engineered seven albums for Leonard Cohen, and she worked with the avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson on Big Science, Mister Heartbreak, United States Parts I–IV, and the concert film Home of the Brave

Her list of artists also includes the Temptations, Fishbone, Holly Cole, Guster, Joe Henderson, Willie Nelson, Luther Vandross, Natalie Cole, Vonda Shepard, Carlene Carter, Paul Winter Consort, Tom Jones, and many others. Since the outset of her career in the early 1970s, she has worked in New York and Los Angeles, and has had a hand in the creation of many historic recordings, including those by James Brown, the Brecker Brothers, Manhattan Transfer, Cat Stevens, Loudon Wainwright III, and Janis Ian.

Ungar's film score credits include Kafka, Pump Up the Volume, and The Limey; television scores include thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, Full House, and Family Matters. She recorded music on location for Matewan, Passion Fish, and The Underneath, and was involved in live recordings for Cohen Live and Field Commander Cohen.

Career Highlights
  • Independent recording engineer and record producer
  • Credits with many recording artists, including Laurie Anderson, Leonard Cohen, Holly Cole, Fishbone, Guster, Janis Ian, Vonda Shepherd, Cat Stevens, and the Temptations
  • Film scores include KafkaPump Up the Volume, and The Limey
  • Television scores include thirtysomething and The Wonder Years
  • Location music recording on MatewanPassion Fish, and The Underneath
  • Live recordings include Cohen Live and Field Commander Cohen
  • Live sound for Laurie Anderson’s United States Parts I–IV
In Their Own Words

"In technology, the only thing we can count on is change. So we prepare our students to go on learning, long after they have their Berklee degree. We believe the best way to do this is to foster critical thinking and adaptability, and give them a broad foundation of recording practices. Our goal is to mold versatile, well-rounded musicians with critical-listening skills, interpersonal skills, and a wide range of technical knowledge, balancing historical context with state-of-the-art methods."

"When I teach, I try to keep the atmosphere very hands-on and informal. I want to encourage creativity and experimentation, to defeat some of the negative aspects of their past education: regimentation, fear of authority, and lack of motivation. I want my students to be self-starters and energized, with a passion that comes from love of music."

"Because Berklee has such a concentration of highly motivated, extremely talented people, it is a microcosm of the future recording industry, and the contacts students make here can be the basis of their coming career. The MP&E Department offers its students a way to interact with the cream of the performance and writing divisions, opening possibilities for relationships that can serve them for years to come."