Craig Leon

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Craig Leon
Craig Ab Rd 2 Nov 2008 v.jpg
Craig Leon
Background information
Born (1952-01-07)7 January 1952
Genres Classical, Modern, Electronic, Folk, Pop
Occupation(s) Composer, arranger, producer
Years active 1966–present
Labels Sony, Decca, DGG, EMI, VIrgin, Takoma, Enigma, Aparte/Atlas, Warner Music
Associated acts The Ramones, Blondie, Luciano Pavarotti, Joshua Bell, Andreas Scholl, James Galway, Cassell Webb
Website Official site

Craig Leon (born 7 January 1952) is an American-born record producer, composer and arranger currently living in England.[1] Leon was instrumental in launching the careers of many recording artists including The Ramones[2] and Blondie[3] Active in pop music production from 1974–1998, Leon has focused on classical composition, orchestration, arrangement and recording from 1998 to the present. His work appears on many classical recordings with artists including Luciano Pavarotti,[4] Andreas Scholl,[5] Sir James Galway,[6] Joshua Bell,[7] The London Chamber Orchestra,[8] Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra[9] and The London Symphony Orchestra.[10]

Career[edit]

Craig Leon was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Fort Myers, Florida.[11] After opening his own recording studio in Miami, Florida, In 1973, he moved to New York when he was hired as assistant to producer Richard Gottehrer at Sire Records.[12] There he was responsible for the discovery and early development of the Ramones[13]Talking Heads[14] amongst other artists. In New York, Leon also produced recordings by Blondie,[15] Richard Hell,[16] Suicide[17] and many other artists connected with the burgeoning New York scene. Leon has produced over 150 LP's & CD's of alternative pop music over the years.[18]

In 1981, Leon produced his own first recorded work, “Nommos” that was released on John Fahey’s Takoma Records[19] later that year. This was followed by “Visiting” in 1982 recorded for Enigma Records.[20] After relocating to the UK in late 1983, Leon continued producing pop and alternative recordings and also wrote and recorded “Klub Anima” for the Kosh Dance Theatre piece. In 1998, Leon produced the comeback No Exit by Blondie.[21]

Since 1998, Leon had been exclusively producing, orchestrating and recording classical projects including including work with Luciano Pavarotti,[22] Andreas Scholl and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,[23] Elysium,[24] the Vienna RSO,[25] the London Symphony Orchestra,[26] Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,[27] and Sir James Galway.[28]

In 2011 Leon completed the Sony Classical recording of "Midwinter's Eve: Music For Christmas"[29] featuring his orchestrations and arrangements of Christmas music performed by The London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christopher Warren-Green.

In 2012 he also completed writing, production and arrangement work on the new album by noted Irish folk artist Méav[30] which was released in September 2013 on Atlas Realisations through Warner Music in Ireland and reached number 3 on the Irish national pop album charts. Worldwide releases to follow in 2014.

As well as numerous UK and foreign television programmes Leon's work has featured in major films including The Karate Kid[31](2010), Ghost River, Ladies in Lavender,[32] 200 Cigarettes, Sid and Nancy[33] and Revenge of the Nerds[34] amongst many others.

Leon has recently turned to work combining audio and visual imagery. Recently he has completed work as an audio/visual producer and musical director/composer of the PBS broadcast "Quest beyond The Stars"[35] which was filmed in the UK and commenced broadcasting in June 2012 and the U.K. produced Discovery Network broadcast "Orbit:Journey to the Moon"[36] which was viewed on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing. He is also the audio producer and musical director of the PBS broadcast "Bell’aria: Live".[37]

In 2013 "Nommos" an avant-garde electronic album that was originally released on Takoma Records in 1981 was reissued as a vinyl only limited edition paving the way for the full release of both early electronic works written by Leon, "Nommos" and "Visiting", in April, 2014.[38] Leon has been performing both works at selected venues in the U.S. and Europe in 2014-15 including Moogfest,the CTM Festival and the Unsound Festival.

He has also completed the production of the opening and closing ceremony for the Dubai World Cup 2014 which was broadcast on 29 March 2014.

An album "Bach to Moog" featuring works of J.S. Bach arranged for the newly reissued Moog model 55 modular synthesizer and performed by Leon with the Sinfonietta Cracovia was issued on 4 May 2015 by Sony Classical. The recording celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Moog modular synthesizer. The arrangements are for synthesizer,violin and orchestra incorporating the synthesizer as a solo instrument, a member of the ensemble and a processor of the music played by the acoustic instruments.[39]/.

Classical records produced, composed or arranged[edit]

Contemporary records produced or co-produced[edit]

Recordings performed[edit]

  • Craig Leon-Early Electronic Works-Nommos/Visiting- Atlas/Aparte/Harmonia Mundi[106]
  • Craig Leon- The Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 (vinyl)- RVNG Intl.[107]
  • Craig Leon- Nommos- Takoma[108]
  • Craig Leon- Visiting- Arbitor/Enigma[109]
  • Craig Leon- Klub Anima Sound Track-Psi
  • Cassell Webb- Llano-Virgin[110]
  • Cassell Webb- Thief of Sadness- Virgin[111]
  • Cassell Webb- Songs of a Stranger- Virgin[112]
  • Cassell Webb-Conversation At Dawn- Virgin[113]
  • Cassell Webb- House of Dreams- China[114]

References[edit]

  1. ^ International Who’s Who in Classical Music 2005, Routledge, 2005. ISBN 9781857432954
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  11. ^ International Who’s Who in Classical Music 2005, Routledge, 2005. ISBN 9781857432954
  12. ^ [Heylin, Clinton. From The Velvets to the Voidoids, Penguin, 1993. ISBN 0-14-017970-4]
  13. ^ [Heylin, Clinton. From The Velvets to the Voidoids, Penguin, 1993. ISBN 0-14-017970-4]
  14. ^ [Heylin, Clinton. From The Velvets to the Voidoids, Penguin, 1993. ISBN 0-14-017970-4]
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  35. ^ * "Imdb.com".http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2533338/
  36. ^ * "Imdb.com".http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2533338/
  37. ^ * "Imdb.com".http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2533338/
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Further reading[edit]

  • Massey, Howard. Behind the Glass(Top Record Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits), Miller Freeman, 2000. ISBN 0-87930-614-9
  • Heylin, Clinton. From The Velvets to the Voidoids, Penguin, 1993. ISBN 0-14-017970-4
  • True, Everett. Hey Ho Let’s Go (The Story of the Ramones), Omnibus, 2002. ISBN 0-7119-9108-1

External links[edit]