James Leonard

Cincinnati, OH

Cleveland Institute of Music, Bachelor of Music, 2022
Cleveland Institute of Music, Master of Music, Current

James is a classical percussionist based in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally from Cincinnati, he relocated to the Cleveland area to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Marc Damoulakis and Paul Yancich. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at CIM and performs regularly in the Northeast Ohio area with groups including the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, Firelands Symphony, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, and Youngstown Symphony. He is also an original member of the virtual symphony orchestra – the Dad Village Symphony.

What is something interesting that people may not know about you?
I have been playing in a weekly Dungeons and Dragons campaign for the last 3 years.

Name three of your favorite composers:
Dmitri Shostakovich, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy

When taking a break from music-making, what is your favorite thing to do?
Cooking! I love trying new recipes whenever I have the time.

What are you most looking forward to this summer with the NRO?
I’m excited to be exposed to different styles of playing, and learning more about different musical opinions and sound concepts from a diverse group of musicians.