the Manchester Camerata (principal 1985 - 1996), Scottish Ballet (co-principal 1985), member of the Music Group of Manchester, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and the Northern Chamber Orchestra.
The South African-born virtuoso double bassist Leon Bosch is one of today's most versatile and imaginative artists. His wide-ranging interests have taken him in many directions, all of which have fed into a unique career and helped to establish his international reputation as an outstanding musician. In addition to a high-profile orchestral life - he is currently principal double bass of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields - he is sought after as a chamber musician, recitalist, concerto soloist, teacher and programmer. In addition he has built up a varied portfolio of commissions and world premieres and is developing a recording catalogue of an unusually diverse repertoire.
Born in Cape Town, though now a British citizen, he graduated from the University of Cape Town before continuing his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, gaining distinction in the Professional Performance Diploma. The recipient of many prizes, he quickly found his vocation. Since 1984, when he made his London solo debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra, he has appeared as a concerto soloist with many distinguished musicians, including Pinchas Zukerman, Sir Charles Groves and Nicholas Kraemer, and as a guest principal and performer with leading orchestras and ensembles.
As an award-winning recitalist he has been invited to play at festivals and music clubs throughout the UK and in Germany, Bulgaria, Ireland and South Africa. Collaborations are a central part of Leon Bosch's work and highlights of his chamber music partnerships have included engagements with the Lindsay, Belcea and Brodsky String Quartets, I Musicanti, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble and the Moscow Virtuosi as well as fruitful associations with such pianists as Maria João Pires, Mikhail Rudy, Vladimir Ovchinikov, Peter Donohoe, Martin Roscoe and, most recently on CD, Sung-Suk Kang.
His innovative approach to music-making and his commitment to the double bass - his enthusiasm for his instrument communicated fluently both from the platform and through teaching, examining and adjudicating - have done much to raise the profile of the instrument. His formidable technique and keen musicianship, combined with his artistic vision, have enabled him to carve a remarkable niche in the musical world.
On the borders of, and beyond, the classical arena Leon Bosch has contributed to recording tracks of such pop artists as Madonna, Robbie Williams, Michael Jackson and Björk while his constantly expanding horizons have led him to explore challenging and little-known music for double bass both in live performance and on disc. He has been responsible for a number of important first performances including Pueblo, a commission from John McCabe, several works by Allan Stephenson and music by the South African composers Paul Hanmer and Hendrik Hofmeyr.
Complementing his contribution to a clutch of chamber music recordings is a solo discography embracing virtuoso repertoire, albums of British, Russian and Hungarian repertoire and, on forthcoming releases, 20th Century sonatas, and works by the brilliant Italian bassist Domenico Dragonetti.
As well as his deep immersion in all aspects of musical life in this country, Leon Bosch is a graduate of the University of Salford in Intelligence and International Relations. He lives on the outskirts of London with his wife and two sons.
Leon was born in Cape Town, South Africa 1961.
Salt River High School, Cape Town.
Prizes and Awards
Zoltan Kovatz, Max Runge, Rodney Slatford, Michael Calder and Duncan McTier
Leon joined Morgensterns in March 1995
Leon's web profile was last updated 8th Feb 2019
Leon commissioned and premiered Pueblo for Solo Bass by John McCabe, an example of his constant search for new repertoire to perform on the Double Bass. And as an always busy soloist he has given many recitals at Music Clubs and Festivals throughout Britain and Europe. Performances that he gave at the Sofia and Plovdiv Festivals were broadcast live on Bulgarian Television.
Leon's London Concerto debut took place in 1984 with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and he has also given concerto performances with Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, Stevenage Symphony Orchestra, Perfoming Arts Orchestra, The Birmingham Ensemble and the Manchester Camerata.
Leon is Principal Double Bass with the The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and is also on their Board of Directors.
Leon is a founder member of the Music Group of Manchester and has performed chamber music works with the Lindsay, Medici, Brodsky, Veravo and Emperor Quartets and with Mephisto, Expose, Firebird, Camerata and the Academy of St Martin's Chamber Ensembles.
His session work includes work for Rob McIntosh and Darrell Kok (Cool Music).
In July 1998 Leon was awarded an MA in Intelligence and International Relations. Leon is currently engaged in Doctoral Research.
In August 2004 Leon was interviewed by the Observer Magazine, please click this link to read the article..
" Let's face it, Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889) was not a great composer. He wasn't even a very good one, and would be entirely forgotten today had he not written a good bit of the double-bass's basic repertoire. He was, by some accounts, the Liszt and Paganini of that instrument.
Sometimes, however, a banal piece such as his showy Gran Duo Concerte for violin, double bass and orchestra can be a lot of fun to hear if the soloists can meet its extravagant technical demands.
Violinist Donnie Deacon and bass player Leon Bosch performed the duo Wednesday evening with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. They definitely have what it takes, though Bosch's performance was the more impressive.
It's not that he was better than Deacon per se. The violin part is exceedingly difficult, but no more than in, say, a Paganini concerto. Deacon played it brilliantly. Yet Bosch's rendition of the exceedingly showy bass part was thrilling in a way no violinist's could be. It wanders well into the range of the violin and is full of false harmonics and other string techniques that bass players are seldom required to use.
The fact that he did it all with nearly perfect intonation is a major achievement in itself.
Conductor Pinchas Zukerman opened the program with Haydn's six-movement Symphony no. 60 in C major. It was a pleasing performance, blemished only now and then by instances of imperfect ensemble playing.
Taste can be a funny thing. Haydn and Mozart were contemporaries and they wrote in similar musical languages. Yet, for this listener at least, Zukerman's Mozart is usually too plush and artificially elegant, whereas his Haydn is robust and engaging, albeit a little anachronistic.
The big work on the program was the Brahms Symphony no. 4 in E minor, op. 98. Brahms is another composer that Zukerman conducts well. His interpretations are thoughtful and relatively easy-going. Some listeners may miss the punch that others bring to the score, but these are qualities that too often wander into hysteria. Zukerman avoids that altogether, most notably in the symphony's final movement.
The rest was equally pleasing. This symphony may have its share of dark clouds, but the sun shines through often enough under the direction of conductor Zukerman. The fact that the orchestra played well didn't hurt either. "