Grin was born in Dnipropetrovsk (UkSSR). Trained from early childhood on as a pianist and composer, he later studied orchestra conducting at the Moscow Conservatory with Leo Ginsburg and Kiril Kondrashin. After graduating with honors he became immediately Associate Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted until his emigration many leading orchestras of the Soviet Union (among them the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra as well the Moscow State Radio Orchestra).
Soon after his emigration with his wife and two children to the USA in 1981, Leonard Bernstein became Grin’s mentor. He selected him to be one of the first conducting fellows of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Grin started during that time working with leading western orchestras like the Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Göteborg Symphony, Berlin Radio Orchestra (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin), the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (hr-Sinfonieorchester), Leipzig Radio Orchestra (MDR Sinfonieorchester), as well as the Helsinki Philharmonic. In the USA he worked among others with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Since his emigration Leonid Grin held numerous Music Director positions both in North- and South America as well Europe. He was Music Director of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Jose Symphony Orchestra, the opera in Saarbrücken (Saarländisches Staatstheater) and the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile. He also recorded with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (his recordings of Erkki Mellartin’s symphonies have been internationally awarded). Among others Leonid Grin worked with soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Barbara Hendricks, Misha Maisky, Yefim Bronfman, Evgeny Kissin, Frederica von Stade, and Isaac Stern.
As a teacher Leonid Grin served as Professor of Symphony and Opera Conducting at the faculty of the University of Houston (Moores School of Music), the Gstaad Menuhin Festival, and the Järvi Academy. His most notable student is Estonian-American conductor Paavo Järvi.
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