Leonard Sakofsky

Leonard joined the NZSO as Principal Percussion in 2006. Prior to this he had been Principal Percussionist of the Auckland Philharmonia since 1997 and has gained a reputation as an outstanding player both as a soloist and in ensembles. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, then the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Principal Percussionist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard Weiner and with Principal Timpanist, Paul Yancich. There he received a Bachelor of Music degree and received the Bruce Koley Award for Excellence in Percussion. At only 17, he was a finalist in the New York Philharmonic Concerto Competition for Young Artists, and appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra in the Kraft Concerto for Four Percussion and Orchestra at age 19.

Since coming to New Zealand, he has appeared as a soloist in the 1998 International Chamber Music Festival, and with Manukau Symphony Orchestra, New Plymouth Orchestra, Auckland University Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra. He performed in the 2000 New Zealand Festival playing a concert of music by John Psathas (‘Psathas Portrait’) with Dan Poynton. He was also a member of 175 East Contemporary Ensemble for six years. Lenny performed ‘View from Olympus’ in the Australian premiere with Michael Houston, Marc Taddei and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and with the Auckland Philharmonia in 2006.