Leo Appel currently studies at the Musik-Akademie Basel with Barbara Doll and Leila Schayegh (Baroque violin at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis), made possible with the support of the RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship and the Craxton Memorial Trust. He completed his undergraduate music studies at St John’s College, Cambridge in 2021. He won the University’s Concerto Competition with a commendation from conductor Jac van Steen and guest-led the University Orchestra in a performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony. The previous year, he directed a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion from the violin. Leo enjoys arranging and composing music, as well exploring styles beyond the realm of classical music. In 2019–2020, he conceived and directed two concert series of Judeo-Spanish and Judeo-Arabic music. He is pursuing this interest further with two upcoming concerts in Kings Place, one of which will take place as part of Jewish Book Week in March 2023.
Leo has an enthusiasm for chamber music which continues to grow in Basel. He regularly works with violinist of the Hagen Quartet, Rainer Schmidt, most recently on an intense project studying and performing Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2. This year, Leo was awarded one of two Academist positions in the Kammerorchester Basel. This will see him perform with the likes of Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Kristian Bezuidenhout, and Sol Gabetta in concert tours around Europe. Leo continues to have a busy solo and chamber performing schedule in the UK and Europe.
Leo studied the violin with David Takeno (Guildhall School of Music) and Richard Ireland (Royal Academy of Music). He has attended masterclasses with Maxim Vengerov, Ilya Kaler, Gilles Apap, Ani Schnarch, and Philippe Graffin. Leo has participated in the Keshet Eilon International Summer Mastercourse, Israel, the International Sommerakademie Bad Leonfelden, Austria, and Festival Verão Clássico, Portugal.