Leonardo Chiodo, cello 
Leonardo Chiodo is a Finnish cellist that won the XIII Turku Cello Competition in Finland, in February 2018. In 2016 he also won First Prize at the X International Youth Competition in memory of E.A. Mravinsky, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Leonardo Chiodo was born in Helsinki, Finland on November 4th, 1998, into a multilingual family. He began his cello studies at the age of ten, exhibiting particular aptitude for cello playing since the very first lessons. Consequently, in spring 2010, at the age of eleven, Leonardo was accepted to the Sibelius Academy’s Junior Department, where he studied with lecturer Hannu Kiiski for the following five years.Then in 2015 Leonardo began his studies with professor Martti Rousi.

In February 2014 Leonardo, then 15, participated to his first major competition – the XII Turku Cello Competition in Turku. While being the youngest contestant, he advanced to the semifinals and also received a special award for his good performances in the second round. Leonardo’s talent was noted, and the following year, in 2015, he was invited to Moscow, Russia for the auditions for the XV Tchaikovsky International Competition as the youngest contestant. Maturing quickly, a year later, in November 2016 Leonardo became 1st prize winner at the X International Youth Competition in memory of E.A. Mravinsky, in St. Petersburg, Russia. In May 2017 Leonardo participates in the 1st Klaipeda International Cello Competition, a competition presided by Maestro David Geringas. Leonardo advances to the semifinals, again as the competition’s youngest contestant.

In 2017 Leonardo was selected to participate at the Encuentro de Santander festival held in Santander, Spain, where he was appointed 1st cello of the symphony orchestra at the opening ceremony concerts. He also gave a recital and performed in various chamber ensembles during the festival. In 2017 Leonard, after attending the Portogruaro Music Festival masterclasses, was awarded special scholarship reserved for the best students in the masterclasses.

In 2017, as a first prize winner at the X International Youth Competition in memory of E.A. Mravinsky, he has also invited to play as soloist in several occasions at the “European Concerts in St. Petersburg”, an international music festival held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The festival culminated in a gala concert at the legendary St. Petersburg Great Philharmonic Hall, where Leonardo played as soloist with orchestra. In February 2018 he won 1st prize at the XIII Turku cello competition in Finland. He also received a prize for the best performance of the Compulsory piece written for the competition – Lotta Wennäkoski’s “Foliage”. Leonardo was also voted favorite contestant by the audience.

Leonardo has actively attended international Masterclasses, receiving advice from prominent cellists such as Arto Noras, David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Ivan Monighetti, Jiang Wang, Young Chang Cho, Enrico Bronzi, Ola Karlsson, Morten Zeuthen, Nils Ullner, Anssi Karttunen, Niklas Schmidt, Young-Hoon Song, Emanuel Gruber and many other great cellists. Leonardo has also been regularly invited to play as soloist for orchestra conducting Masterclasses organized by the Finnish conductor, Academician Jorma Panula, and by Academy professor for conducting, Atso Almila.

As a young musician Leonardo has played as soloist, chamber musician and in orchestras in many eventsin Finland and abroad in China, Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania. He has built a considerable repertoire for his age. Leonardo has received important material support and scholarships by the Finnish Arts Foundation, the Martin Wegelius Memory Foundation, the Sibelius Academy Support Foundation, the Finnish Music Arts Foundation, the OP Group Arts Foundation, the Rotary Club of Portogruaro, Italy, and private sponsors. Leonardo plays on a historical violoncello made by Nicolas Lupot in 1795, made available to him by the
OP Group Arts Foundation. His bow was made by famous french archetier Pierre Simon.