Get to Know Leo
My life in music began on Mothers Day weekend 1996 on a trip to House on the Rock. I saw a player piano playing the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Liszt. By the end of the piano roll, I was determined to learn how anybody could play all those notes.
The following year I enrolled in UW-Stevens Point as a music student with no formal musical education. Through countless hours of practice, I overcame many obstacles that were before me as a person who started playing very late in life. My main focus during undergrad was composition. I was the first student at UWSP to give a recital of all original music. I graduated in 2002 with BA in music. I began my teaching career through the Conservatory for Creative Expression (UWSP's continuing ed program) in 1998.
After a few years of teaching privately, and getting married, I moved to Chicago where my wife was working on her Masters degree in vocal performance and pedagogy. During the Chicago years, I studied performance practice and aural skills with Keith Hill and Marianne Ploger. I continued teaching in Chicago and the suburbs.
In 2008 I was accepted to the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany where I successfully completed a master's of harpsichord performance. Our time there was greatly formational not only musically but also culturally. It was a great honor to spend two years assimilating to a new country. I had the opportunity to teach piano in Germany too.
Playing a public piano in Philadelphia.
We moved back to the US in the fall of 2010 and I immediately began teaching. In the time since, I've continued developing not only my teaching but also my performing. I've performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist in dozens of concerts since returning to the States.
Aside from music, I enjoy roasting coffee especially beans from Brazil. The roasting process can't be done indoors and the beans need to be constantly turned so I'm forced to spend time outside thinking! I enjoy designing and building instruments because of the learning involved
and the pride of having made something. I am also a huge advocate for train travel. I have,
on separate trips, gone coast to coast by train and thoroughly enjoyed it. Most recently I
traveled from San Francisco to Milwaukee and found the time in the Rockies astounding.
My wife Wendy and I are both Wisconsin natives. We enjoyed our time living in other places but are happy to have put down roots here in Madison.
A mountain pass in the Rockies. This was taken from the back window of my train.