Born in 1951, Leo started the piano at seven, the cornet at nine and violin at eleven. At fourteen he had his first private violin lesson from Eugene Genin MBE and within two years was a member of the National Youth Orchestra. While in the orchestra Leo was taught by Hugh Maguire of the Allegri String Quartet and later privately by Clifford Knowles of the Royal Northern College of Music.
Leo won an open scholarship (in French and Latin) to King’s College Cambridge. A college bursary enabled him to study Italian for three months at the British Institute, Florence, and he then went up to read French and Italian. At Cambridge he won the Tilley Prize for French, the Walter Headlam Prize for Classics and a Keasbey Bursary. He was co-leader of the CU Music Club Chamber Orchestra. When Eugene Genin died in 1983, Leo took over the direction of the Oxton and Claughton Orchestral Society and the South Liverpool Symphony Orchestra for ten years. He still directs the Genin Orchestra at Rydal Hall in the Lake District.
In 1990, after gaining an LRAM (Violin Performer) at the Royal Academy of Music, he left teaching to work full-time as a violin maker. He is now head of Classics at Caldy Grange Grammar School. He makes every bit of his bows, modelled on Lamy and Sartory but using the methods of the modern English (Hill) school, and today performs using a brand-new Guarneri del Gesu violin made by Ian Highfield of Buxton and one of his own bows.
Recent and Forthcoming appearances with the Cathedral Concerts SocietyRecent and
As Leader, Leo is usually involved in any concert with the Cathedral Orchestra
Picture: Leo acknowledging applause from an appreciative audience after a brilliant performance of the Mendelsohnn Violin Concerto on 4 Feb 2012