|Leo Eylar, orchestra • (916) 278-4216 • Send Email
Conductor-composer Leo Eylar was born in Los Angeles in 1958, grew up in a musical environment. His mother was a professional pianist and teacher, his uncle is the well known film composer Albert Glasser. Eylar began studying the violin at the age of nine and soon played in family piano trios with his mother and his cellist sister. He studied with Eudice Shapiro, Virginia Baker and Joachim Chassman.
After graduation from high school in 1976, Eylar attended Northwestern University and the University of Southern California where he received his music degree, summa cum laude. His violin teachers included Glenn Dicterow, currently concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, and Samual Magad, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, where he met his wife, violinist Katherine Kyme. In 1982 he was awarded an International Rotary Foundation Grant to study conducting at the prestigious Hochschule fur Music in Vienna, Austria. After completing studies there with Ottmar Suitner, he returned to the U.S. and completed his Master's Degree in conducting at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
From 1984 to 1989 Eylar was co-concertmaster of the San Jose Symphony and also conducted the El Camino Youth Symphony and the San Jose Symphony Youth Orchestra. In 1988 he conducted a nationally televised performance of "America Sings" with Bobby McFerrin and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra. On the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 1985 to 1988, Eylar is currently a faculty member and conductor at California State University, Sacramento. He also frequently guest conducts at the San Jose Symphony. In May, 1991 he was appointed Music Director of the California Youth Symphony.
Eylar's compositions have been performed in such notable places as Carnegie Hall, New York, and Wigmore Hall, London, as well as in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. His "The Temptation of St. Anthony" was premiered by the California Youth Symphony in May 1993. It was described as "haunting" and "provocative". A new work of his was recently premiered in Washington D.C. by St. Mary's College of Maryland. His "Dance Suite" for trumpet and string orchestra was recorded in the summer of 1995 by the Seattle Symphony and released on the Delos label. His "Variations on a Troubadour Theme" was premiered by the San Luis Obispo County Symphony in December 1994. His latest work, "Rhapsody for Orchestra", was premiered by the California Youth Symphony in November, 1995.