Leonid Grin has been widely hailed for his passionate approach to music and his eloquent, powerful interpretations.
During his tenure as General Music Director of the Saarlandisches Staats Theater, Saarbrucken (Germany), he conducted numerous, highly successful symphony and opera performances. Notable among these are the acclaimed performances of Shostakovich symphonies that have been broadcast live throughout virtually all of Europe.
Mr. Grin came to the San Jose Symphony as Music Director in 1992 with a wealth of international conducting experience, he quickly established a successful relationship with the orchestra, earning enthusiastic accolades from audiences and critics alike for the next ten years. In 1999 he and the orchestra were given a prestigious ASCAP Award for their commitment to programming and performing contemporary American music.
Mr. Grin has also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Dortmund (Germany) Opera and Orchestra for the 1999-2000 season, and earlier as Principal Guest Conductor (1988-1990) and then as the Music Director of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland from 1990-94.
Born in Ukraine, Maestro Grin gave his first piano recital at the age of 7. At 11, he won the Young Composers Competition, and later studied at the Dnipropetrovsk College of Music and the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied composition and conducting under Leo Ginsburg and Kiril Kondrashin.
After graduating from the Conservatory in 1977 with top honors, Leonid Grin was appointed Associate Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic. In that capacity he led the orchestra in concerts throughout the former Soviet Union and on tours of Spain, Mexico and Canada. Until applying for an emigration visa in 1979, he was a regular guest conductor with the leading Soviet ensembles, including the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Philharmonic, the Moscow State Radio Orchestra, the Estonian State Symphony, the Georgian State Symphony and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra.
Soon after immigrating to the United States in 1981, Maestro Grin was chosen by Leonard Bernstein from a large field of applicants for the first Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, a distinction that earned him the privilege of conducting in three Hollywood Bowl concerts. Shortly thereafter he won the prestigious Exxon Endowment Conductors Fellowship, and he later accepted a post as Professor of Conducting at the University of Houston School of Music.
Leonid Grin made his United Kingdom debut with the Scottish National Orchestra in 1983 and has also conducted the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted extensively in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Israel, New Zealand and Canada, appearing with such leading orchestras as the Göteborg Symphony, the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic, among others. In August 1993 Leonid Grin led the Resident Orchestra of The Hague in his debut concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In November 1994 he inaugurated the international Akzo Nobel for Young Talent program in Holland, from which a live recording was produced. He has conducted the Orquesta Philharmonica de Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon on several occasions, including a program with Itzhak Perlman as soloist. He has also enjoyed collaborations with soloists Kathleen Battle, Evgeny Kissin, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern and Frederica von Stade. Mr. Grin's appearances have included concerts at the Berlin Philharmonic with the Berlin Radio Orchestra, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in a concert with the Leipzig Radio Orchestra, concerts with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal, with the Philharmonia Hungarica, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the National Symphony of China.
Recent and upcoming engagements include the Cincinnati Symphony, Kuoppio Symphony, Belgrade Philharmonic, Nürnberg Philharmonic, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Kiel Philharmonic, concerts at the Enescu Music Festival in Bucharest with Misha Maisky, and return performances with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic. Dedicated to working with young artists, Mr. Grin also joins Maestro Neeme Järvi in giving conducting master classes at the Neeme Järvi Summer Academy. Additionally, he has worked with the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra.
Mr. Grin's recordings with the Berlin Radio Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra include music of Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Mellartin. His recordings of the complete symphonies of Finnish composer Erkki Mellartin with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra have won wide recognition, including a five-star rating for the Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 by the BBC Music Magazine. The volume consisting of Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 was named the 1995 "Record of the Year" by the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation.