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“Beautiful music and a great song selection sung with great
warmth and feeling.” - Samuel Montgomery, Prairie View, Texas
“I have been taking your CD to varying places letting people hear the great voice that God has given you.” - Charles E. Tatum, Houston, Texas
Baritone Leon Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York
and currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii where he assists in leading
worship at First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu at Koolau.
Leon has earned a fine reputation on several continents for
his warm, handsome voice, charismatic personality and impassioned
interpretations of vocal works from the cantatas and passions of J.S. Bach to
premieres of works by contemporaries, William Bolcom, Stephen Flaherty,
Charles Wuorinen, John Musto, Lee Hoiby and Harold Farberman.
A graduate of the world renowned Boys Choir of Harlem,
Leon holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York
City and a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College of
Rider University. He has performed on major stages throughout the world
including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, The New York Philharmonic,
St. Petersburg Philharmonic in Russia and the Osakadome in Japan.
Leon has received invitations from major orchestras around
the world to perform the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Faure, Durufle and
Britten, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation, Vaughan Williams a Sea
Symphony and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Baltimore Symphony, American
Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Florida Orchestra, Kansas City
Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and American Symphony orchestra are
but a few of the many orchestras where Leon has become a favorite.
In Opera Leon has performed at Toledo Opera, Hawaii
Opera Theater, Dallas Opera and in 2009 will reprise his critically acclaimed
interpretation of Papageno in Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute at El Paso
On Broadway, Leon has performed both leading roles of
Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Booker T. Washington in the original Broadway
cast of the hit musical Ragtime opposite Broadway greats, LaChanze, Brian
Stokes Mitchell, Judy Kaye, Audra MacDonald, Marin Mazzie, Alton
Fitzgerald White and the late Tommy Hollis.
Passionately devoted to the art of the song recital Leon has
shared the stage with great composer/pianists Ned Rorem, John Musto, Eric
Zivian and William Bolcom in every concert hall of his native New York City
as well as over 500 cities throughout Europe, Japan, South America and the
Although Leon possesses an undeniably well-trained, highly burnished baritone voice he has the ability to communicate in a way that is wholly organic and human in nature making the listener feel that the songs are coming directly from the heart. Leon is truly one of the most versatile vocal artists you will hear today. His contribution to the Watchfire Music catalogue represents a reckless abandon of the voice and the heart freeing him to create some of the most impassioned readings of these songs ever.
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