American percussionist Cameron Leach is a bold performer recognized for his expressive virtuosity, musical athleticism, and daring interpretations. As a soloist and chamber musician, Leach has concertized in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared at some of the world’s finest institutions, including the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Sibelius Academy, and the Norwegian Academy of Music, and notable halls such as the Meyerson Symphony Center, Lila Cockrell Theater, Ohio Theatre, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, and China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. Leach is the winner of both the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Solo Artist Competition and Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, and was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He is a member of the Northern California-based percussion quartet Orphic Percussion, one half of the Leach | Peters Percussion Duo, and an Associate Musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Leach formerly held a professorship at Kent State University’s Hugh A. Glauser School of Music, and now teaches primarily as a guest artist at universities across the United States. Leach proudly endorses Black Swamp Percussion, Beetle Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, Rustic Percussion, and Malletech.
Leach’s 2020-2021 season, though inevitably impacted by COVID-19, is marked by world premieres of two new percussion concertos. In March 2021, Leach collaborates with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra on a new concerto by award-winning composer Adam Roberts, commissioned by the Johnstone Fund for New Music. Shortly thereafter, he will serve as the Marjorie Bruce Holland Artist-in-Residence for ÆPEX Contemporary Performance, culminating in the premiere of a new chamber concerto by Garrett Schumann. Other bookings and residencies for the season are tentative as health guidelines continue to change. Looking ahead to 2021-2022, Leach will perform a Daytime Showcase Concert at the 2021 Percussive Arts Society International Convention—the world’s largest annual percussion festival—in addition to making his concerto debut with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights from recent seasons include recital appearances in Beijing, Nuremberg, San Francisco, Orlando, Houston, Columbus, and Portland, as well as artist residencies at the Space City New Music Festival, MalletLab Summer Intensive, TUTTI Festival at Denison University, and Purdue University Fort Wayne. Leach has performed on series such as the Eastman Summer Concert Series, Old First Concerts, New Music at Short North Stage, CLICK Series at Ohio University, Rochester Fringe Festival, and the SPLICE Festival. An artist with a strong online presence, Leach addressed the COVID-19 lockdown with an array of digital concerts, guest lectures, and home studio collaborations, culminating in the first performance of the virtual concert series, Culture in the Time of Corona, presented by Streetlight Guild and the Johnstone Fund for New Music.
Notably, Leach’s latest concerto debut with the Dallas Winds was broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today, America’s most popular classical music radio program. Other concerto highlights include performances with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Euclid Symphony Orchestra, and McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, plus world premieres of two new concertos: Dave Maric’s SPIEL, commissioned by Capital University, and Durwynne Hsieh’s Prelude and Cartoon, commissioned by Otterbein University. Additionally, he has been featured as a guest artist at more than thirty universities over the last two years.
Devoted to the creation and performance of new music, Leach continues to commission diverse works for solo percussion, with a special focus on electroacoustic and theatrical music. To that end, he frequently leads large-scale commissioning consortiums to fund these projects, having now brought together more than 150 percussionists from around the world in this collaborative process. Having premiered nearly 40 new pieces in recent seasons, Leach’s latest commissions include works by Emmanuel Séjourné, David Skidmore, Ivan Trevino, Nick Werth, Vera Stanojevic, Linda Kernohan, Paul Pinto, and Matt Curlee.
In addition to his work as a concert artist, Leach has a strong background in marching percussion, having won world titles with the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps and Rhythm X. He also hosts The Cameron Leach Podcast, a new audio/video experience featuring both guest interviews and solo episodes, offering additional insights into the life of a touring soloist. Project Percussion, his most recent endeavor, is an online platform dedicated to percussion education, facilitating grassroots commissioning consortiums, and building community.