Leonardo Prieto is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Mexico City based in Rotterdam since 2016. His work goes from very academic environments (classical music) to world music.
Because of this you can find him either composing for an orchestra or playing with a latin band. He has a variety of projects where he explores different aspects of his music making like: composing, playing piano, jarana, requinto (Mexican guitars), tres cubano or singing and also collaborates with other artists. Leonardo is also a docent and project leader/planner.
At the age of 5, Leonardo was already approaching music by playing drums. When he was 10 years old, he started playing guitar and composing pieces he played on guitar. The records were kept by his mom in an old tape. Then he went through a long process of learning different instruments like jarana, requinto, piano, singing, gaita colombiana and marinbol. Some of them he learned by himself and other ones with private teachers.
In 2016 he was accepted in two departments of Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts) in The Netherlands. In 2018 he finished his double master’s degree in piano and composition at the conservatory. He has 3 bachelors degrees: one in Composition from the University of West London, a second bachelor in Literature and Music Theory with the same institution, a third bachelor in Sociology from UNAM. He also has the VIII degree in piano of the Royal school of music. He studied composition, piano and electronics in Mexico at CIEM. He has taken master classes with renowned performers and composers.
As classical composer his music has been performed and recorded by people like Irvine Arditti, Sergio Vásquez, Terceto Cuicacalli, Beatriz Elena Martínez, Janet Paulus, Ensemble Liminar, Mauricio Nader, Ricciotti Ensemble, Virtual Ensemble and by himself in countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and The Netherlands. In Mexico his music was played in forums such as: Sala Manuel M. Ponce, Carlos Chavez, radio UNAM, FIMNME, MUNAL. He also composed popular and world music recorded by different artists. He loves to compose music for dance and visual art and media: tv, cinema, podcast among others. He was invited in 2020 to compose music and make the sound production for Terra Madre Podcast by the Slow Food Youth Network.
As multi instrumentalist he has a strong experience playing different instruments such as: piano, tres cubano, singing, jarana, requinto, gaita colombiana among others with many artist of different genres and parts of the world as: Maite Hontelé (Holland; nominated for the grammy), Daniel Johnstone (USA), Gerardo Rosales (Venezuela), Alexandra Tischendorf (Norway), Los Pipos (The Netherlands), Fuensanta Méndez (Mexico/NL), Que Payasos (Mexico), Grupo Yuka (Colombia), Familia Vega (Veracruz), Sonaranda (Mexico), Barahúnda Jazz Quartet (Mexico), Aurora Rock, Los Parientes de Playa Vicente (Veracruz, with whom he recorded 2 albums), Tres Ríos (With whom he won a scholarship in 2007 and gave concerts in The Netherlands).
He is the director and founder of the group Son de Aquí since 2000 with whom he recorded three albums that include his music and have a successful career until nowadays touring in Mexico and Europe.
He is co-director and creator of ArtBreak multidisciplinary project based in Rotterdam supported by Innovation fund and Rotterdam mayor in his first edition 2018.
He has played in countries such as: Mexico, Chile, Cuba, Italy, Greece, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, The Netherlands, in Festivals like: North Sea Jazz Festival, Días Latinos, HomeGrown Town, Festival Quimera, Siguiente Escena, Festival de Improvisación Santiago de Chile and in a lot of different theaters and forums like Bellas Artes, Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris, Zuilenzaal, Compagnietheater, De Doelen, Ahoy, among many others.
Prieto has been invited as a session musician on several albums such as Mood-fu (Universal Music), “Del tingo al tango” with Susana Zabaleta and Yadi Camara (Guinean balafonist). He has made music for theater, TV and cinema, and has a vast experience doing improvisation in theater, participating in the Impro International Festival, in Santiago de Chile in 2010 and in Amsterdam, Holland 2017.
He has worked as a guest teacher in Rotterdam Conservatory from 2018 to 2021 as a main teacher of Tres Cubano, workshop leader and project leader of the first edition of The World Music Orchestra.
He also has experience teaching in the countryside in Mexico for developing communities. In Paris, France 2016 he taught Mexican music workshops and gave a series of concerts.
In 2021 he is launching his album debut as Leonardo Prieto, ‘Sembrando’ supported by ‘Droom en daad’ from Rotterdam, project he started on 2019 and has been invited in renown places as Sibelius Festival 2019 in De Doelen Rotterdam, Heerenhuys and Dizzy Jazz Cafe.
Now he is based in Rotterdam and he is active as performer, composer and teacher.
Leonardo Prieto has a strong formation as a classical composer. He studied a bachelor in classical composition with Victor Rasgado and Enrico Chapela and a masters in Jazz composition with Paul van Brugge in Rotterdam.
His repertoire goes from solo instruments to chamber and orchestral pieces. He also has pieces written for music and dance with some indications for the dancers.
His repertoire includes music for electronics.
It is important to notice that he has a vast repertoire of popular music mainly inspired by traditional music and music for media and visual content such as theater, dance, podcast and more.
Leonardo Prieto studied classical piano with different teachers and at CIEM with Maria Antonieta Lozano holding the VIII grade of the Trinity London College. He also holds a master degree from Rotterdam Conservatory where he studied piano latin and jazz.
He started to play drums at the age of 6 and after that guitar at 10 years old where he started his way of learning by himself different instruments like: gaita colombiana, jarana, requinto, leona, tres cubano, cavaquinho and singing.
During his career he played with many musicians from strong music traditions like: son jarocho, son cubano and the music from Colombia learning a lot from them and also having some lessons with great world music performers.
Nowadays he plays over 15 instruments but he is specialized in piano, tres cubano, jarana, requinto, leona, gaita colombiana and voice.