Conductor and arranger - orchestrator
Léonard Ganvert was born in Paris on 30th January 1986. He started his studies at a very young age.
His dream of becoming a conductor began one evening in April 1997 when Léonard, aged 11, attended a concert conducted by his grandfather, André Jouve, former Music Director of the Radio France Orchestra. He received his first conductor’s baton when he was 14, from the hands of his grandfather.
Léonard began to work with two amateur orchestras.
In March 2000 he took part in a course with the Paris National Opera with the manager-general of dance, Renaud Fauviau at the Palais Garnier (Brigitte Lefevre, Director). This allowed him to discover the preparation of performances of a very high quality and confirmed his strong desire to become a conductor.
In March 2001 Léonard won first prize for music theory in the local Paris Conservatoires of Music exams, after being taught by his mother Sophie Jouve-Ganvert. As a pupil of Racine Secondary School (Paris), he conducted the school symphony orchestra. After his first concert given on 20th December 2001, the proceeds of which were donated to the Robert-Debré Hospital, his efforts were rewarded by the award of first prize for the Lilly Diabetes Trophy (17th November 2002). This was originally created to recognize, support and promote an original and personal initiative.
On 18th October 2002 after this happy and proud experience Leonard, decided to found his own symphony orchestra: Les Concerts d’Athalie. He hoped to be able to offer to his fellow musicians an enriching and real orchestral work experience, opening up a somewhat neglected repertoire ranging from well-known to future creations, aiming for quality and the pleasure of learning and playing; and at the same time continuing his work to support medical research through donating the takings of his concerts.
Alongside this, Léonard has founded a string quartet, the Philomoussos, in which he plays first violin.
In March 2003 Léonard was awarded first prize in the competition « Jeunes de Qualité » (Youth with Talent) presented by the International Lions Club, in recognition of his achievement in founding and developing Les Concerts d’Athalie and all the concerts presented so far.
After succeeding in his Baccalauréat Littéraire (June 2003), he pursued his studies in Musicology at the Sorbonne University (Paris) at the same time as musical analysis, harmony, violin, and classical dance in the local Paris Conservatoires where he qualified with a D.E.M in music theory, C.F.E.M. in musical analysis, C.F.E.M. in harmony, and a diploma in classical dance.
In March 2004 he studied with the choirs of the National Opera of Paris (Sir Mark Elder conducting The Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz). In November 2004 he took another music course with the National Opera of Paris (Paul Connelly conducting Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty) followed by another one in April 2005 (Alexander Vedernikov conducting Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov).
In May 2005 he was awarded with first prize for orchestral conducting at the Rueil-Malmaison Regional Conservatoire of Music.
He was also awarded first prize in the prestigious Lilly Partnership in Diabetes International Competition (San Diego, California, May 2005). A few months later Léonard became the award winner of the Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet pour la Vocation. Following this success Léonard participated in two courses at the National Opera of Paris: one with Vello Pahn for Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (December 2005) and the other with Marco Balderi for Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (January 2006).
With the participation of the musicians of the orchestra of the National Opera of Paris Léonard recorded a CD sold on behalf of the A.J.D. (Aide aux Jeunes Diabétiques) to support research in diabetes and also celebrating the 50th anniversary of this association, (March 2006). He performed with the same musicians in a unique concert organised exceptionally for the International Congress of the ALFEDIAM (French Language Association for the Study of Diabetes and Metabolic Illnessess) in the Palais de Congrès in Paris (10th March 2006). In November 2006 Léonard received the « Trophée de l’Action pour la Recherche AJD-Lilly ».
From 2006 to 2010, he studied at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse (CNSMDP) in the class of orchestral conducting with Zsolt Nagy. During this period in the Conservatoire Léonard had the opportunity to work with Arie Van Beek, Zsolt Nagy, Istvan Parkai, Pierre-André Valade, Graziella Contratto, Dominique My, Philippe Ferro, Lázsló Kovács and Pierre Boulez. In these sessions he conducted the Auvergne Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Conservatoire Prize Winners, the Orchestra of the Conservatoire, the Janacek Ostrava Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Savoie Regional Orchestra, Hungary Northern Symphony Orchestra (Miskolc, Hungary), Ensemble Court-Circuit, Ensemble Fa and the Brittany Orchestra. Léonard studied with William Christie (Zampa by Hérold, Opéra Comique in Paris, March 2008), with Riccardo Muti (Verdi’s Requiem, Radio France, May 2009), with Jesús López Cobos (The Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach, National Opera of Paris, April-May 2010) and with Philippe Jordan (Arabella by Richard Strauss and Carmen by Bizet, National Opera of Paris, May-June 2012 and November 2012).
Léonard is qualified in musical analysis and theory, composition, orchestration, violin, chamber music and classical dance. He has a first Degree and Masters in Musicology (Management and Music Administration) from the Sorbonne University. He was awarded with a prize for musical analysis (classes with Alain Louvier), for orchestral conducting (classes with Zsolt Nagy), for orchestration (classes with Marc-André Dalbavie), and for aesthetic (classes with Christian Accaoui) at the CNSMDP.
To mark the state visit of President of the Russian Federation (Hotel de Ville, Paris, March 2010), Léonard has created an orchestration performed by the French Home Office police guards. Léonard is one of the contributors to an arrangement of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg played in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) and the Royal Opera of Versailles (2011-2012). Co-arranger of Requiem pour un déporté by Chrystel Marchand and Fragonard by Gabriel Pierné, Léonard also takes part in the Youth Orchestra, device and orchestral music education with a social (DEMOS), Salle Pleyel.
Musical Director from the Choir and the Orchestra of the Louis-le-Grand Secondary School (Paris, 2010/2011), Léonard was also Artistic Director from the Festival du Pays Briard (2011/2014).
Léonard was the conductor’s assistant of Kenneth Weiss for the production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (CNSMDP, March 2010), of Laurent Gay for The Mastersingers of Nuremberg sung in French (2011-2012, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Amphitheatre of the Opéra Bastille in Paris, Royal Opera House of Versailles), then of Jesús López Cobos for I Puritani (January 2011, Geneva, Grand Théâtre), for the re-opening production of the Lausanne Opera House with L’Elisir d’amore (September-October 2012) and the Verbier Festival 2014 (Switzerland), for the new production of La Cenerentola of the Vienna Staatsoper (December 2012-January 2013), for La Gioconda (Deutsche Oper Berlin, January 2014) and for the new production of Manon of the Lausanne Opera House.
Leonard has also founded (2012) Les Soirées de l’Orchestre, all young professional musicians.
Léonard was awarded with the Prize of Honour of the 32nd Masterplayers International Music Competition 2012 (Lugano – Switzerland) and has been selected for the finals of the Concorso internazionale di musica Patané (Italy). He took part in the Cadaquès Orchestra International Conducting Competition (Spain, December 2013 & 2017), in the 7th Concorso Luigi Mancinelli (Italy, July 2016), in the 1st Concorso Nino Rota (only Frenchman selected, Italy, October 2016), in the 1st Mendelssohn Competition (Greece, November 2016) in the Concours International de Jeunes Chefs d’orchestre de Besançon (May 2013, April 2015 & May 2017) and in the 1er Concours International de Chefs d’orchestre d’opéra (Liège/Belgium, August 2017). Recently, Léonard was one of the three finalists of the 2nd Concorso Nino Rota (only Frenchman selected, Italy, October 2017).
Léonard conducted Ba-Ta-Clan (by Offenbach) with Les Concerts d’Athalie. He also conducted the production of a Traviata with the Company Opera è mobile (performances in Shanghai, London and Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, Aug.-Sept. 2016) and Norma by Bellini (concert version, Paris, January 2017).
In December 2018, Leonard directed the Nice Philharmony Orchestra in the new production of the Nice Mediterranean Ballet [choreographies of director Eric Vu-An] at the Nice Côte d'Azur Opera [Maritime Alps, France] (Faust by Charles Gounod and Les Deux Pigeons by André Messager). He also conducted there in December 2019 (En Sol by Maurice Ravel and Pas de Dieux by George Gershwin). He is invited again in December 2020 (Don Quichotte by Léon Minkus).