Agustin Leon Ara was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, where he began studying music with his parents at the Conservatory in that city. Later he studied at the Royal College of Music of London with Albert Sammons, Cecil Aronowitz and Alan Loveday, and in Brussels with André Gertler and Louis Poulet.
Prize winner in the International Contests of Darmstadt (Contemporary Music), Henri Wieniawski, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, León Ara began a brilliant international career as a violin soloist in collaboration with prestigious orchestras and distinguished conductors in Europe, South America, the United States and Japan.
Many outstanding contemporary composers have dedicated works to him, such as Joaquín Rodrigo, Luis de Pablo, Grazyna Bacewicz, Tomás Marco, and Albert Amargós.
As professor of violin, Agustin Leon Ara has made an outstanding contribution to the training of musicians in Spain and abroad. He has been professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, the Conservatory of Barcelona, Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth of Belgium, The Joven Orquesta Nacional of Spain, and the Conservatory of the Balearic Islands. He is frequently invited as guest teacher in summer courses, most notably at Música en Compostela where he is also director.
Crowning his brilliant and versatile career as maestro and soloist, he frequently performs chamber music in duo with such distinguished pianists as Rosa Sabater, José Tordesillas, Graham Jackson and Albert Attenelle. In 1994 he founded the Joaquin Rodrigo Chamber Orchestra, serving as concertmaster/conductor.
León Ara has made various recordings for DECCA, EMI, ARIOLA, CPO, PHONIC, and PHILIPS, including the complete works for violin and piano of Joaquín Rodrigo, Concierto de Estío with the London Symphony Orchestra, Cançoneta with the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields. With the Joaquín Rodrigo Orchestra he recorded all-Rodrigo programs for EMI and for JVC (Japan). In 2003, together with the pianist Albert Attenelle, he recorded an interesting program of sonatas by Spanish composers.
Among the many important honours awarded to Agustin Leon Ara are the Medal of the Eugene Isaye Foundation, Brussels, Member of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Madrid, Corresponding Member of the San Miguel Academy of Fine Arts, Tenerife, Gold Medal of the Island of Tenerife, and the Larios Music Performance Prize for his contribution to promoting Spanish music worldwide, and his great dedication to teaching, having founded his own personal school of the violin. Agustín León Ara was recently awarded the Premio Magister 2012 which the San Miguel Academy of Fine Arts of the Canary Islands grants to a “A prestigious artist from the Canary Islands in recognition of continued efforts throughout a lifetime dedicated to artistic creation or performance”.
Leon Ara maintains a full schedule as professor and international soloist. At present he continues to give masterclasses and recitals and concerts. He recently participated in the 15th edition of the Course in Technique and Instrumental Perfection held in Caldas da Saúde, Portugal, and in November 2013 he travelled to Costa Rica to give an advanced course in violin perfection and in Chamber Music, performing various recitals with the pianist Andreu Riera and concerts with the Symphonic Orchestra of Costa Rica.
Agustín León Ara has been awarded with the following distinctions: