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Now in his eighth season as Music Director of the San Jose Symphony Orchestra, LEONID GRIN has been widely hailed for his passionate approach to music and his eloquent, powerful interpretations. Coming to the San Jose Symphony with a wealth of international conducting experience, he quickly established a successful relationship with the orchestra, earning enthusiastic accolades from audiences and critics alike. In 1999 he and the orchestra were given an ASCAP Award for their commitment to contemporary music programming. Mr. Grin will take up an additional post with the start of the 1999-2000 season, becoming Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Dortmund (Germany) Opera and Orchestra. He earlier served as 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 emigrating 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 which 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, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Israel, New Zealand and Canada, appearing with such leading orchestras as the Göteborg Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic, among others. In August 1993 Leonard 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. Other recent appearances have included his debut at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in a concert with the Leipzig Radio Orchestra, concerts with the Vancouver, Quebec and Honolulu Symphonies, the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal, and the Philharmonia Hungarica. In February 1999 he made a very successful debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on short notice, replacing Franz Welser-Möst, and was immediately invited to return for concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of 2000.
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.
Now an American citizen, Maestro Grin resides in Santa Clara County, California. He has two children, a daughter, Rada, and son, Daniel, who studies cello and piano.