Leo Appel was awarded the Julius Isserlis prize by the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2021. He began his career as a soloist with a performance of the Walton Violin Concerto with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018. Ever since, he has been busy with engagements as a soloist with orchestras around the UK, in Switzerland, and Italy, collaborating with the likes of Jac van Steen, as well as Kammerorchester Basel in an upcoming project.
As someone with a drive for bringing big ideas to life, Leo directed a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion from the violin in Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge. In 2019 and 2020, he conceived two sold-out concert series of Judeo-Spanish and Judeo-Arabic music.
Leo’s enthusiasm for contemporary music also extends beyond the standard Western Classical repertoire. He has formed close working relationships with many composers, and recently collaborated on a series of concerts of new chamber music on Jewish themes at Kings Place.
This year, Leo was awarded one of two Academist positions in the Kammerorchester Basel. This will see him perform with artists including Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Kristian Bezuidenhout, and Sol Gabetta in concert tours around Europe.
Leo completed his undergraduate music studies at St John’s College, Cambridge in 2021 with a thesis examining string quartet performance practice through the lens of early 20th century recordings. During this time, he studied violin with David Takeno and won the University's Concerto Competition.
Leo currently studies modern and baroque violin with Barbara Doll and Leila Schayegh at the Musik Akademie Basel. He has attended masterclasses with Maxim Vengerov, Leonidas Kavakos, Tabea Zimmermann, Steven Isserlis, Robert Levin, Philippe Graffin, and Hopkinson Smith.