Jonathan Leeds has been featured in some the most prestigious venues in the world, from playing principal clarinet in Queen Elizabeth Hall to participating in Royal College of Music’s residency in Cadogan Hall. Having played under the baton of today’s most sought after conductors, premiered pieces by his generation’s most prestigious composers, and performed in chamber concerts in London’s most historic churches, Jonathan has worn and continues to wear many musical hats. When it comes to music, he is always at home, whether it be performing a duet by Elliott Carter, playing a solo in a Strauss tone poem, or presenting a Mozart Serenade.
An experienced orchestral musician, Jonathan has had the honor of playing under conductors such as Rafael Payare and Vladimir Jurowski. With these orchestras, Jonathan has performed in repertoire ranging from Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben to Dutilluex’s violin concerto Sur le même accord. As part of the RCM Symphony Orchestra, Jonathan twice had the opportunity to record at the Abbey Road Studios, making recordings of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Holst’s The Planets in sessions produced by Grammy-winner Stephen Johns. Also an active chamber player, Jonathan has presented concerts in some of the world’s most beautiful locales, including the St Bartholomew-the-Great church, one of the oldest places of worship in London.
As comfortable in the world of contemporary music as he is in the classical canon, Jonathan is an avid performer and advocate for new and modern music. With the RCM’s New Perspectives Ensemble, he took part in more than ten world premieres and performed standards of the modern repertoire, such as Webern’s Concerto for Nine Instruments. In 2019, Jonathan had the honor to perform on various occasions at the Royal Academy of Art’s New Music Showcases; one performance included the premiere of Thomas Foster’s Bass Clarinet and Alto Flute duet, Making Light. Since then, Jonathan and flautist Sarah Parkes Bowen have performed the duet numerous times to great success, including having garnered commendations in RCM’s annual contemporary competition.
Jonathan received his Bachelor’s in Music Performance from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University where he studied with Bil Jackson. In 2019, Jonathan Received his Master’s in Performance from the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Timothy Lines. Jonathan is currently a freelance clarinetist in the Philadelphia area. When not working, his favorite hobbies include playing with his cat, Snickers, and trying in vain to complete the New York Times Saturday crossword puzzle.