Biography

Born in The Netherlands and later moving to Italy, Germany, Belgium and the UK, Leon started his musical studies playing the violin, trombone and euphonium. He first experienced conducting at the early age of 17 and shortly after began lessons with renowned Dutch conductor Jan Cober, with whom he studied his BMus in conducting at Conservatorium Maastricht, where he graduated with distinction. Leon was awarded the ”Young talent of the month” award in March 2018, he won the special jury prize at the International Conducting Competition at the Deutsches Musikfest Osnabrück in 2019 and the third prize at the 2021 Conducting Competition "Premio Frederick Fennell", the 2023 Mortimer Furber Prize for conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music and has recently been awarded the prestigious  2023 "Kersjes Fonds Prize".

Leon has had the privilege to participate in numerous masterclasses, courses, and private lessons with renowned conductors such as Jorma Panula, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Sir Mark Elder, Antony Hermus, Domingo Hindoyan, Ludovic Morlot, Baldur Brönnimann, Jurjen Hempel, Jac van Steen, Federico Santi, Omer Meir Wellber, Douglas Bostock, Ivan Meylemans, Bjørn Sagstad, Toby Purser, David Hill, Kensho Watanabe and Tim Reynish amongst others.

Leon has recently been appointed Resident Conductor with the Muscat Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, in Oman, where he moved to at the beginning of the 2023/24 season, working closely with the orchestra and its choir, as well as performing in the country's major concert venues. He is also the founder and former music director of the Maastricht Academic Chamber Orchestra (MACO). At the beginning of 2019, MACO was founded as a small chamber orchestra intended to bring young international musicians together with the aim of creating music of the highest standard. From the 24 musicians that took part in the first concert, MACO has since grown into a full-size symphony orchestra. He is also founder of the Maastricht Winds Orchestra, which after two years of succesful projects has become part of the curriculum at Conservatorium Maastricht. His international portfolio includes collaborations with a diverse array of ensembles and orchestras, such as Manchester Camerata, Northern Ballet, NEW Sinfonia, Chethams Symphony Orchestra, Stockport Symphony Orchestra, Nottingham Philharmonic, Chester Philharmonic, Southwest German Chamber Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, Wiener Festspiele Ensemble, Orchestra della Magna Grecia, The Hallè Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, Orchestre Metropolitain, and more. Noteworthy upcoming debuts include performances with the BBC Philharmonic, PSAPPHA ensemble, and Orkest de Ereprijs.

Growing up in Verona, it was almost inevitable that Leon would fall in love with opera and despite his young age he has already enjoyed working on operas such as La Boheme, Tosca, La Traviata, Dido and Aeneas, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan Tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Falstaff, Le donne curiose, The Turn of the Screw, Peter Grimes and Bluebeard's Castle. Nonetheless he also feels at home in chamber, symphonic, contemporary and baroque music.

Furthermore he has worked as assistant conductor of various dutch and belgian orchestras such as: the Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands (JON), National Students Chamber Orchestra (NESKO), National Youth Orchestra (NJO), Asko Schönberg ensemble, RKST21, Orkest de Ereprijs and the Belgian National Orchestra with conductors Jurjen Hempel, Stijn Berkouwer, Antony Hermus and Clark Rundell.

During his studies Leon has been assisting the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Opera North, Chethams Symphony Orchestra, PSAPPHA contemporary ensemble and the RNCM Orchestras and Opera, working with conductors such as Joshua Weilerstein, Ben Gernon, Jonathan Bloxham, Omer Meir Wellber, Mark Wigglesworth, Rory Macdonald, Garry Walker, Antony Hermus, Jurjen Hempel, Jac van Steen, Alpesh Chauhan, Dirk Brossé, Eva Ollikainen, Leslie Suganandarajah, Christian Lindberg, Andrew Manze, Clark Rundell and Domingo Hindoyan.

Coming from an international background and being able to speak five languages fluently allows him to communicate efficiently, bringing an international view to his work and at the same time respecting the traditions of the places he visits.

Leon recently graduated with distinction for his MMus in Conducting at the renowned Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (UK) with professors Mark Heron and Clark Rundell. He was supported in his studies abroad by the prestigious cultural institutions Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, VSB Foundation, dr. Hendrik Muller's Vaderlandsch Fonds  and by the Ministry of Culture of the Flemish Region

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For more info and CV:  contact Leon