Agustin León Ara
Agustin Leon Ara was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, where he began studying music with his parents at the Conservatory in that city. Later he studied at the Royal College of Music of London with Albert Sammons, Cecil Aronowitz and Alan Loveday, and in Brussels with André Gertler and Louis Poulet.
Prize winner in the International Contests of Darmstadt (Contemporary Music), Henri Wieniawski, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, León Ara began a brilliant international career as a violin soloist in collaboration with prestigious orchestras and distinguished conductors in Europe, South America, the United States and Japan.
Many outstanding contemporary composers have dedicated works to him, such as Joaquín Rodrigo, Luis de Pablo, Grazyna Bacewicz, Tomás Marco, and Albert Amargós.
As professor of violin, Agustin León Ara has made an outstanding contribution to the training of musicians in Spain and abroad. He has been teaching the violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels for 33 years, the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth of Belgium, the Conservatory of Barcelona and the ESMUC, also in Barcelona, the Joven Orquesta Nacional of Spain and the Conservatory of the Balearic Islands. He is frequently invited as guest teacher in summer courses, most notably at Música en Compostela where he is now director. He also serves regularly as jury member in prestigious international music competitions, such as the Pablo Sarasate Competition, the Wieniawski Competition in Poznan and the George Enescu Competition.
Crowning his brilliant and versatile career as maestro and soloist, he frequently performs chamber music (duo, string quartets) and in 1994 he founded the Joaquin Rodrigo Chamber Orchestra, serving as concertmaster and conductor.
León Ara has made various recordings for DECCA, EMI, ARIOLA, CPO, PHONIC and PHILIPS, including the complete works for violin and piano of Joaquín Rodrigo, Concierto de Estío with the London Symphony Orchestra, Cançoneta with the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields. With the Joaquín Rodrigo Orchestra he recorded all-Rodrigo programs for EMI and for JVC (Japan). In 2003, together with the pianist Albert Attenelle, he recorded an interesting program of sonatas by Spanish composers such as Pablo Casals and Gaspar Cassadó.
Among the many important honours awarded to Agustin León Ara are the Medal of the Eugene Isaye Foundation, Brussels, Full Member of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Madrid, Corresponding Member of the San Miguel Academy of Fine Arts, Tenerife, Gold Medal of the Island of Tenerife, and the Larios Music Performance Prize for his contribution to promoting Spanish music worldwide, and his great dedication to teaching, having founded his own personal school of the violin.
León Ara maintains a full schedule as professor giving masterclasses and as international soloist. In addition to his activity as director of Música en Compostela, he recently participated in the 15th edition of the Course in Technique and Instrumental Perfection held in Caldas da Saúde, Portugal, and in November 2013 he travelled to Costa Rica to give an advanced course in violin perfection and in Chamber Music, performing various recitals with the pianist Andreu Riera and concerts with the Symphonic Orchestra of Costa Rica.