Allentown, PA (December 2, 2020) – Community Music School (CMS) Lehigh Valley & Berks is pleased to announce the addition of Jonathan Leeds of Allentown to its woodwind faculty. Mr. Leeds specializes in teaching private lessons in clarinet and bass clarinet.
Mr. Leeds holds a Master of Performance from the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Timothy Lines, and a Bachelor of Performance from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where he studied with Bil Jackson. He began playing the clarinet at age nine. Through his studies with some of the best players in the world, he learned the importance of making a connection with students and tailoring lessons to each student’s personal needs. His lessons focus heavily on clarinet fundamentals and external musical skills, such as sight singing, rhythm, and dictation. This approach prepares students to be flexible and to approach any music with confidence.
Mr. 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, Mr. Leeds has worn and continues to wear many musical hats. When it comes to music, he is always at home, whether he is performing a duet by Elliott Carter, playing a solo in a Strauss tone poem, or presenting a Mozart Serenade.
An experienced orchestral musician, Mr. Leeds has had the honor of playing under conductors such as Rafael Payare and Vladimir Jurowski. With these orchestras, he 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, he 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. As an active chamber player, Mr. Leeds has also 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, Mr. Leeds 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, Mr. Leeds 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, he and flautist Sarah Parkes Bowen have performed the duet numerous times to great success, including having garnered commendations in RCM’s annual contemporary competition.
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. Mr. Leeds is available for online private lessons in clarinet and bass clarinet at Community Music School. To schedule online lessons, visit https://cmslv.org/online-music-lessons/.
About CMS: Community Music School (CMS) – Lehigh Valley & Berks is a nonprofit charitable organization which provides the inspiration and opportunity for anyone in our diverse community to achieve excellence in music education and appreciate the transformative power of music. CMS employs over 25 professional musicians who provide high-quality private and group instruction to students of all ages and in nearly every instrument and voice – both in-person and online – as well as extensive, tuition-free outreach programs that bring music to students in under-served public schools. Thanks to support from our philanthropic community, CMS has provided over 25,000 student services in the Lehigh Valley with the life-long benefits of musical education by funding over $100,000 annually in need-based financial aid, merit scholarships, and tuition-free outreach programming. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS continues to offer online music lessons and virtual performance opportunities for students of all ages. For more information, to enroll in lessons, or to donate, visit https://cmslv.org/.