“…it’s rare when virtually an entire audience stands immediately. That happened twice at this concert: as Leppard walked on stage, and again after the final piece, which garnered several curtain calls.”
An exceptional and versatile musician, Raymond Leppard is one of the most respected international conductors of his time. In four decades on the podium, he has conducted nearly all of the world’s leading orchestras, made over 150 recordings, written two books, created legendary realizations of Cavalli and Monteverdi, and composed several film scores.
In addition to his fourteen-year tenure as Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and long association with the English Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Leppard has an impressive list of conducting credits: he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic on numerous occasions, toured with the Chicago Symphony and Detroit Symphony, and has conducted many other major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony (including the Last Night of the Proms), as well as in all European capital cities and Japan.
In the great opera houses of the world, highlights include Britten’s Billy Budd at the Metropolitan and San Francisco operas; Alceste and Alcina at the New York City Opera; and the world premiere of Nicholas Maw’s Rising of the Moon at Glyndebourne Opera, where he has been a frequent guest. He has also appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and in Paris, Hamburg, Santa Fe, Stockholm, and Geneva. In the late 1950s, Mr. Leppard accepted a post at Cambridge as University Lecturer in Music, beginning a distinguished joint career as academician and performer. During his tenure at Cambridge, he was responsible for bringing the operas of Monteverdi and Cavalli back to the professional stage where they had not been seen for 300 years.
A prolific recording artist, Raymond Leppard has earned such international prizes as the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, a Grammy Award, a Grand Pro/Am Music Prix du Disque, and the Edison Prize. Recent recordings include works for organ and orchestra with Gillian Weir and the English Chamber Orchestra; two recordings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and a disc of 20th-century American music with the Indianapolis Symphony. Mr. Leppard has composed a number of film scores, including the music for Lord of the Flies; Laughter in the Dark; and Hotel New Hampshire. His second book, Raymond Leppard on Music: An Anthology of Critical and Personal Writings, was published by Resources in 1993.
The Queen of England has honored Mr. Leppard with the title Commander of the British Empire (CBE). For his services to Italian music, the Republic of Italy has conferred upon him the title of Commendatore della Republica Italiana. In America, he has received honorary degrees from Purdue University, Butler University, and the University of Indianapolis.
Born in London, Raymond Leppard was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He currently resides in the United States.