Full Time Faculty
Jonathan Leathwood was born in 1970 and has come to Denver from his native England. His first visit to the Lamont School of Music (at DU) was in 1996, when he spent the Spring Quarter as visiting Head of Guitar at the invitation of Ricardo Iznaola, then on sabbatical. In 2001 Denver University awarded him its Artist's Diploma, the first time they have made this award in individual performance, and made him the first recipient of the Ricardo Iznaola Guitar Scholarship. Jonathan is also guitar instructor at the University of Northern Colorado.
Some of Jonathan's recent recitals include appearances at the Festival di Cervo in Italy, the International Festival of the Classical Guitar at West Dean in the UK, the Nurtingen Festival in Germany, London's Wigmore Hall (with flautist William Bennett), the Almeida Festival, the Cheltenham Festival (with cellist Steven Isserlis), and the Aldeburgh Festival (with the contemporary music group Jane's Minstrels ). He has performed in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland and Italy, and recently completed a short tour of the United States. In 2002 he performed at the Lagonegro Festival in Italy, and was president of the jury of its international guitar competition.
Jonathan Leathwood performs regularly with the celebrated flautist William Bennett, and produced a compact disc with him in 1999; in 2002 they recorded a new duo album together, now available on the Beep label (more information).
He has also worked with Steven Isserlis, one of the world's leading cellists, who invited him to be the first guitarist to attend the Prussia Cove Chamber Music Seminar in 2000, and to perform a live broadcast with him on BBC Radio in 2001.
In 1988, Jonathan was a string finalist in BBC Television's Young Musician of the Year competition. Since then he has won awards from a number of bodies, including the Park Lane Group, the Countess of Munster Trust, the Myra Hess Trust, the Holst Foundation, the Eric Falk Trust, and the Ian Fleming Trust. He was the first guitarist to record a recital for BBC Radio 3's Young Artists' Forum. He has twice performed in the Park Lane Group's Young Artist Series at the Purcell Room in London. One of these concerts involved an exciting collaboration with the Indian composer Param Vir, whose four-movement work Clear Light, Magic Body was dedicated to him and later published by Novello. He has also premiered works by Stephen Goss, Robert Keeley, Mervyn Cooke, and Rodolfo Betancourt. Jonathan is one of the few guitarists to play the ten-string guitar alongside the traditional six-string model, and as a ten-string player he is particularly associated with the innovative and striking music of Maurice Ohana.
Jonathan Leathwood is equally noted as a teacher and writer on music. In 2001 he conceived and edited Guitar Forum, a new scholarly journal for the classical guitar published in the United Kingdom by the European Guitar Teachers' Association (EGTA UK). The previous year, he was the British delegate at EGTA's international conference in Cambridge, England, where he gave a lecture on analysis and performance. He owes the academic and scholarly side of his background to King's College London, from where he graduated in 1991 with First Class Honours and the Purcell Prize for academic achievement. He was later invited back to King's to teach Music Analysis and Techniques of Musical Composition, before eventually moving to the United States in 1998. His principal teachers in guitar have been Gordon Crosskey, Richard Wright, Paul Galbraith, Ricardo Iznaola and the pianist and conductor George Hadjinikos.