Teaching Philosophy: "Many years ago, my teacher Yuko Hayashi said to me, “When you see a bud growing out of the ground, you’re not sure what it is yet, so you water it and feed it, and you wait to see what it grows into. But you don’t want to step on it. And if the bud is very small, all the more important not to step on it.” I share her feeling that every student is a valuable and precious person, whether age 5 or age 80. Certainly music lessons were what kept me alive during my formative years. That is why, with every student of every age, I go on the assumption that, even if the student never becomes a professional musician, just maybe music lessons will be key to that student’s health and happiness. For those students who do wish to have careers in music, suddenly I am very exacting, and I am not afraid to push a student when necessary. But the fact remains, in either case, that music lessons remain one of the healthiest activities that a person can do!"
Born in 1971, composer/pianist/organist LEONARDO CIAMPA is acknowledged as a musician of supreme gifts and extraordinary versatility.
Ciampa is the founding director of the Arts MetroWest (arts-metrowest.com) (since 2012) and Honorary Music Director (Maestro di Cappella Onorario) of the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo in Gubbio, Italy (since 2015). Till recently he was artistic director of organ concerts at MIT (2009-2016).
As an organ recitalist, Ciampa has made a dozen European tours encompassing Italy, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. He is particularly admired in Italy, where he has played in numerous international festivals (Festival Perosiano, Festival Biellese, Organi Storici della Valsesia, Le Voci della Città, Festival Organistico Lauretano, Reate Festival, etc.).
As a composer, Ciampa’s compositions have been performed in prestigious venues such as Sanders Theatre (Harvard), Kresge Auditorium (MIT), Mechanics Hall (Worcester), and the Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City); at cathedrals in Vienna, Boston, Altenberg, Brandenberg, Tortona and Biella, and at basilicas in Rome, Turin, Loreto, Rieti and Gubbio. His compositions include Suite Siciliana, Op. 145 (for two violins, piano and orchestra), commissioned by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston to open their 25th anniversary season at Harvard's Sanders Theatre; The Annunciation, Op. 203 (cantata for chorus, soloists, and strings); the Kresge Organ Symphony, commissioned by MIT and premiered in Kresge Auditorium; a piano quintet (premiered by the Lavazza Chamber Ensemble); and Missa Pamphyliana, premiered at the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo in Gubbio by the Cantores Beati Ubaldi (Renzo Menichetti, conductor).
As a pianist, Ciampa is particularly admired for his interpretations of Chopin, whose 200th birthday he commemorated in 2010 with six recitals at First Church in Boston.
An avid writer, Ciampa has written several books, including The Twilight of Belcanto, Don Lorenzo Perosi (the first English-language biography of that composer), and, most recently, Gigli (the first book on the great tenor in English in 56 years).
Leonardo has been teaching since 2013 and has taught piano and organ lessons for Note-worthy Experiences since March 2015. He has successfully prepared for their National Piano Guild Auditions since 2016.
Learn more about Leonardo in his teacher feature.
There is no grass growing under Leonardo -- a composer, pianist, organist, conductor, vocal coach, author, and father of four young boys. Though music consumes most of his time, he is also fascinated by the art of cooking, in particular the cuisine of his ancestors, Southern Italian farmers going back many generations. (He shares some of their ancient recipes on his blog, "Pensieri Meridionali.") Leonardo doesn't like the terms "culture" or "the arts." For him, "arts" are "the things normal people did before the invention of TV." His ancestors were a case in point: though they couldn't read or write, they sang, played instruments, made wood carvings, built things, and cooked food that today would be considered "gourmet."