Leonard Weiss

Biography

Leonard Weiss is an award-winning composer, conductor and performer. He is the 2016 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year for Youth Arts and Multimedia, an ACT Finalist for 2016 Young Australian of the Year and recently received a Canberra Critics' Circle Award for Music. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Music from the Australian National University (2013) and a Master of Teaching (Secondary) from the University of New England (2015). Leonard has conducted and performed solo concerts in the USA and throughout Europe, including recent carillon performances along the East Coast of the USA in July 2015. In addition, Leonard is the Musical Director/Conductor of a number of ensembles in Canberra including the National Capital Orchestra and the Canberra Youth Orchestra, and featured in the 2015 Canberra International Music Festival as a Carillonist. Leonard's local musical history includes performances with the Canberra Youth Orchestra on both harp and French horn.

Read more below on Leonard's compositions, conducting positions and performance history.

Composition

Leonard is an award-winning composer who is regularly commissioned for short film scores, solo carillon pieces and works for other ensembles. Highlights of Leonard's recent compositions include Three Reflections, commssioned by the National Capital Authority in 2014 and premiered in Ypres, Belgium as part of the World Carillon Congress; a soundscape to unveil the Musica Viva 2015 concert season in October 2014; the score to The Machine, winner of the Mix 106.3 Award for Best Original Music at the Lights! Canberra! Action! 2014 short film festival; Six-String Suite, commissioned by the Canberra Classical Guitar Society in 2012; The Bells of Nyx, winner of the 2011 Carillon Composition Competition and recipient of the Canberra Audience Choice Award, performed by Lyn Fuller; and Electric Toast, used as the advertising music for the Z-26 Musical Tesla Coil. Leonard also frequently orchestrates and arranges pieces for a variety of orchestral and choral performances.

Read more on Leonard's compositions.

Conducting

Leonard began conducting his own compositions in 2007. More recently, Leonard has undertaken conducting tuition at the ANU as well as conducting in master classes with the SSO, with Richard Gill OAM, with Dr Ralph Hultgren and with Monte Mumford. Leonard is currently the Musical Director/Conductor of the National Capital Orchestra, the Canberra Youth Orchestra, the Canberra Qwire, Shades of Monday, Musical Director/Conductor and Co-Founder of he Echo Voices Community Choir and Musical Director/Conductor of the Musica da Camera String Orchestra for its first concert series each year. He also is the Assistant Musical Director/Conductor of the Maruki Community Orchestra and conducts ensembles at Canberra Grammar School.

Read more about Leonard's conducting, including a repertoire list.

Performance

Leonard’s primary instrument is the carillon, on which he has performed solo tours in the USA, Denmark, Germany and Belgium. Leonard is also proficient in many other instruments including the harp, French horn, trumpet, piano, organ, voice, and various unpitched percussion. He has performed in Ireland and Belgium on the harp and French horn, and held a Wesley Music Scholarship in 2015. Leonard has also performed throughout Australia, including in the multi-award-winning production of Guys and Dolls (2013) in the Canberra Theatre.

Read more on Leonard's solo performances.

Teaching

Leonard is employed as the Pre-Tertiary Classical Music H-Course convenor and teacher at the Australian National University, as well as at Canberra Grammar School and Canberra Girls Grammar School. Leonard arranges music and helps to prepare teaching materials for all year groups, and was the Assistant Musical Director and tuba/sousaphone performer for the CGS production of Barnum in 2015. Leonard has previously been the Production Assistant and French horn performer for the Combined Canberra Grammar Schools’ award-winning production of Guys and Dolls, in the Canberra Theatre in 2013, and performed on French horn in theaward-winning CGS production of Les Misérables in 2010.

Leonard is also employed at Merici College, where he currently conducts the choir after having previously conducted the Merici Orchestra in 2015 and Choir in 2013.

Outside of school, Leonard is an instrumental teacher on harp, French horn, composition and music theory. Please contact Leonard if you are interested in individual tuition.