Leonardo [Lionardo] Leo (Ortensio Salvatore de Leo)

(1694 - 1744)

Leonardo Leo

Italian composer. Pupil of Fago at the Conservatorio S. Maria della Pietà dei Turchini, Naples, from 1709; became maestro di cappella to the Marchese Stella and an organist at the viceroyal chapel in 1713, succeeding Alexander Scarlatti Leonardo Leo2 as the viceroy's first organist in 1725. Active as an opera composer from at least 1714, he wrote dramatic music for Naples, Venice, Rome, and other cities, and from 1723 was also a major figure in comic opera. Though temporarily eclipsed in the late 1720s by Hasse and Vinci , he soon regained his preeminent position, succeeding Vinci at the royal chapel in 1730, becoming vice-maestro there in 1737 and maestro di cappella shortly before his death; important also as a teacher, he served as primo maestro at both the Conservatorio S. Onofrio (succeeding Feo in 1739) and the Conservatorio dei Turchini (replacing Fago in 1741), with Piccinni and Jommelli among his pupils. In addition to some thirty serious operas (many later examples of which are set to Metastasian libretti) and twenty comic operas, he produced serenatas and other shorter dramatic works, secular vocal music, oratorios, church music, and instrumental compositions, along with several didactic manuals.

A Partial Leonardo Leo Discography   |  VIIIB: The Neapolitan Group