Jonathan Leathwood, England
"Jonathan Leathwood is a genius." Therese Wassily Saba, Classical Guitar [UK]

Sample Video Narcissus from Oxen of the Sun by Stephen Goss
"To have early mastered the utmost technical demands of so difficult an instrument as the guitar is rare. To possess not only an infallible memory for its repertoire, but a depth of understanding at once intuitive and analytical, is rarer still. And to be able to communicate such understanding with an intensity that has audiences hanging upon every note is rarest of all. Speaking at once as a composer, critic and listener, I would say that Jonathan Leathwood has it all." Bayan Northcott, composer and critic [UK]

Jonathan Leathwood is one of the few guitarists to perform on six-string and ten-string guitars, mixing modern and traditional works in his innovative programs. Some of his recent recitals include appearances at the Festival di Cervo in Italy, the International Festival of the Classical Guitar at West Dean in the UK, the Nürtingen Festival in Germany, the D. Marin Festival in Turkey, London’s Wigmore Hall (with flautist William Bennett), the Almeida Festival, the Cheltenham Festival and the Aldeburgh Festival. He has performed in England, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and the United States.

Mr. Learhwood is equally known as a collaborator with both performers and composers. He has recorded two albums with the legendary flautist William Bennett (See: Mountains Toward the Sea, Beep BP34). and performs regularly with flutist Christina Jennings. He has also recorded and broadcast with elite cellists Rohan de Saram and Steven Isserlis. His commissions from young composers such as Param Vir, Stephen Goss, Robert Keeley and Chris Malloy have pushed the boundaries of both six- and ten-string guitars: his recordings of Goss and Malloy are now available on the Cadenza label. His exploration of the works of English composer Stephen Dodgson led in 2006 to the release of an album in which Mr. Leathwood made premiere recordings of a number of Dodgson’s solo and chamber works (See: Watermusic: Chamber Music of Stephen Dodgson, Cadenza CACD0603). His forthcoming recordings will feature music by Britten, Maw, Rodrigo, Mompou, Falla, Keeley and Iznaola.

Recently, Jonathan Leathwood was approached by the legendary guitarist Julian Bream to join him in a project to commission new solo guitar works by major composers, beginning with a substantial work by Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Mr. Leathwood launched this initiative with a solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall in November 2011.

Mr. Leathwood has won awards from BBC Television’s Young Musician of the Year competition, the Park Lane Group, the Countess of Munster Trust, the Myra Hess Trust, the Holst Foundation, the Eric Falk Trust, and the Ian Fleming Trust. He was the first guitarist to record a recital for BBC Radio 3’s Young Artists’ Forum. He has twice performed in the Park Lane Group’s Young Artist Series at the Purcell Room in London.

Jonathan Leathwood is equally noted as a teacher and writer on music. He writes and lectures on a range of topics from Bach to Elliott Carter. In 2001 he conceived and edited Guitar Forum, a new scholarly journal for the classical guitar published in the United Kingdom by the European Guitar Teachers’ Association (EGTA UK). The previous year, he was the British delegate at EGTA’s international conference in Cambridge, England, where he gave a lecture on analysis and performance. In 2005, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music published several of Jonathan Leathwood's ensemble pieces in their Music Medals series for children.

Jonathan Leathwood’s principal teachers in guitar have been Gordon Crosskey, Richard Wright, Paul Galbraith, Ricardo Iznaola and the pianist and conductor George Hadjinikos. Currently he is a lecturer at the University of Denver. He gained his PhD at the University of Surrey in the UK.

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