Leonard Weiss

Leonard Weiss is an Australian conductor and educator, and inaugural recipient of the 2021 NSW Orchestral Conducting (Early Career) Fellowship. He has recently assisted the Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras and earlier this year was Assistant Conductor for National Opera's La Clemenza di Tito. Leonard was the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 2020-21 BSO-Peabody Fellow and studied conducting with Marin Alsop at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where he was awarded as their "rising star" in 2020.

Leonard received the 2020 Mr and Mrs Gerald Frank New Churchill Fellowship which will lead to international development opportunities in 2022. He is an Ars Musica Australis Arts Fellow and received support to study with maestro Alsop by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and by the American Australian Association Arts Fund.

Leonard is the inaugural Active Patron of the Hume Youth Orchestra. On faculty at Hume Conservatorium, this role connects him with passionate young musicians and leading musical mentors to shape the experiences for this unique orchestra, operating across three cities in NSW, Australia.

"A masterful performance under the direction of Leonard Weiss... nuanced, expressive and subtle [conducting style], there is no mistaking what he asks of the orchestra."
CityNews, 25 July 2021

Weiss had the orchestra sounding the best I had heard... they responded perfectly to even the subtlest of gestures. There was gorgeous balance between sections and superbly controlled expression throughout.
CityNews, 4 August 2019

Celebrated as the "ubiquitous Mr Music" (CityNews, July 2019) Leonard was the Musical Director and Conductor of the National Capital Orchestra (2015 - 2019), the Canberra Youth Orchestra (2015 - 2019), the Australian National University Choral Society (2015 - 2019) and the Canberra Qwire (2014 - 2018). Leonard is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Canberra Sinfonia, a semi-professional chamber orchestra inaugurated in 2018, and has conducted one concert each year with the Musica da Camera String Orchestra since 2012. He recently made his opera debut conducting Kaija Saariaho's Émilie.

For his services to music in the National Capital, Leonard was awarded as the 2016 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year for Youth Arts and Multimedia, an ACT Finalist for 2016 Young Australian of the Year, and in the same year received a Canberra Critics' Circle Award for Music.

Leonard conducted the Band of the Royal Military College in the Armistice 100 celebrations held by the UK High Commission in November 2018. He was Assistant Conductor for the World Premiere of The Vietnam Requiem in 2021 and The Diggers' Requiem in October 2018, commemorating the centenary of armistice. Leonard was the Musical Director for Dramatic Productions' acclaimed season of Sweeney Todd in late 2017. Previous conducting positions include Assistant Conductor of the Maruki Community Orchestra (2012 - 2018) and Co-founder and Conductor of Echo Voices Community Choir (2012 - 2015). Leonard was the Course Coordinator and teacher for the ANU Open School of Music (2016 - 2019) as well as teaching and conducting multiple ensembles at Canberra Grammar School (2011 - 2019).

In a career that already includes over 200 major works, highlights include conducting performances with jazz legend James Morrison AM, a cappella icons The Idea of North, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Dale Barltrop, original orchestrations with Lucy Sugerman, harpist Alice Giles AM, string powerhouse Dimity Hall and Julian Smiles, and Grammy Award quadruple-nominee cellist Dave Eggar. Leonard has shared the stage with some of Australia's most highly acclaimed performers including conducting pianists Dr. Edward and Dr. Stephanie Neeman, guitarists Matt Withers and Callum Henshaw, hornist Rob Gladstones, and noted vocalists including sopranos Louise Page OAM, Susannah Lawergren and Penelope Mills, countertenor Tobias Cole, tenor Paul McMahon, baritones Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Christopher Hillier, David Greco and Jeremy Tatchell.

Leonard is passionate about showcasing contemporary works. He has conducted World and Australian premieres by Philip Glass, Christopher Gordon, Jessica Wells, Bree van Reyk, Sally Greenaway, Michael Dooley, Chloe Sinclair and Dante Clavijo; as well as significant Canberra/regional premieres by Carl Vine AO, Graham Koehne AO, Matthew Hindson AM and Natalie Williams. Additional Australian Premieres have included works by Sibelius and Respighi.

On top of his conducting portfolio, Leonard is a noted composer, performer, and was a music reviewer for The Canberra Times. He was often requested as a harpist for government functions including those for the Prime Minister, and has toured as a carillonist by invitation throughout Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the USA.

Upcoming Concerts

The Sydney Youth Orchestra: Activate
7pm Sunday 12 December 2021
BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4
More information & Tickets

POSTPONED Steel City Strings: Earth Connections
Performances in Burradoo, Wollongong and Nowra, NSW
Featuring William Barton on didgeridoo, a collaboration with and celebration of indigenous composers, musicians and performers.
More information

POSTPONED Canberra Sinfonia: Concerto Gala
MOZART Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, soloist Lucy Macourt
MOZART Concerto for Flute and Harp, soloists Alison Mountain and Rowan Phemister
More information

POSTPONED Canberra Sinfonia: Vivaldi Recomposed
RICHTER Vivaldi Recomposed, soloist Helena Popovic
More information