Ronald Leonard

Ronald Leonard

Ronald Leonard is well known as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He has performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe, both as soloist and chamber musician. From 1993-2003 he held the prestigious post of the Gregor Piatigorsky Endowed Chair in Violoncello at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California. He was only third person to ever hold the position, following Piatigorsky himself and Lynn Harrell.  He is also on the faculty of the Colburn School and was appointed conductor of the Colburn Chamber Orchestra in the fall of 2000. Mr. Leonard taught at the Eastman School of Music from 1957 to 1975 and has been a performing faculty member at various summer festivals, including the Marrowstone, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Aspen Festival, Round Top Festival, the Johannesen International School of the Arts, the Australian Chamber Music Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival “Summer Fest” in La Jolla, CA., and Musicorda. Mr. Leonard was the principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1975 until 1999 and has performed virtually the entire cello concerto literature under the direction of such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carlo Maria Giulini, Vladimir Ashkenazy, André Previn and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has recently made a highly acclaimed CD of orchestral excerpts for cello on Summit Records. A critically acclaimed chamber music performer, Mr. Leonard has been a Marlboro Festival participant including tours and recordings. He is a former member of the Hartwell, Eastman and Vermeer Quartets.  He has also appeared as guest artist with the Juilliard, Guarneri, Angeles, Mendelssohn, Borremeo, Chilingarian, and American Quartets. Mr. Leonard is a founding member and former president of the Los Angeles Violoncello Society and was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon Rhode Islanders who have distinguished themselves, in May of 1996. In October of 2000 he was awarded the “Chevalier du Violoncelle” by the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center in celebration of his lifelong achievements in the world of cello playing and teaching. Mr. Leonard plays a cello made in early 1700 by Pietrus Guanerius of Mantua. It is said to be the only cello from the hand of this famous master.