Violin and Viola Tuition in Bristol

About Don Leonardo

Don Leonardo has had 8 years of specialised training in the field of teaching, from beginners to very advanced students (of any age). The first 4 years of training were provided under the tutelage of Stuart Canin, the former Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (for 15 years) who was also a long-term student himself under the head teacher of the Juilliard School of Music, Ivan Galamian. The last 4 years of training were provided at the Juilliard School of Music under Lillian Fuchs (Viola) and Dorothy DeLay (Violin).

Don Leonardo, born in the U.S. was chosen at birth by his mother Runa (and father Irving), to follow a musical career. Runa wanted him to succeed as a successful Concert Violin Soloist. A keen musician herself, she studied both the violin and viola, but felt unable to attain the high standard of a Concert Soloist, hoping her son would do this in her stead. Don showed great promise when only 8 years old. This, it was believed, could have been due to his very musical Heritage, which contributed toward the unusual advancement he attained from the relatively early age of 6.

Don Leonardo's Grandmother on his mother's side was Lilly Wexberg, who passed away July 12th, 1972. She was one of the greatest and most sought after teachers of operatic singing in the world. Her students and associates included world-renowned names such as Beverly Sills, Leontine Price, Marilyn Horne, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti and many others. She worked closely with Otto Guth, a close family friend who worked with Herbert Addler, a former director of the San Francisco Opera.

Don Leonardo has been the winner of many prestigious awards. The 'Stillman-Kelly' award resulted in his being selected to appear as a Concert Soloist twice with the Northern California Youth Orchestra. As the winner over the western half of the U.S., he got an invitation to join the prestigious Christmas String Ensemble led by such notables as Isaac Stern, Alexander (and Mischa) Schneider and others, initially as a violinist the first time, then later as a top violist from the Juilliard School of Music. Don's other awards have included one sponsored by the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of San Francisco. This brought him before audiences of thousands of people and resulted in his being selected to appear as a Concert Soloist twice with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra members.