Praised for his "full-blooded commitment" and "delicious dancing grace" (The Telegraph), Leo Popplewell is much in demand as a chamber musician, recitalist and orchestral principal.
He is the founding cellist of the award-winning Mithras Trio, enjoying an active concert and recording schedule. They shot to international recognition winning first prize at the 10th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in 2019, and were also first prize winners at the 67th Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition, Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition 2019 and St. James Chamber Music Competition 2018. They were selected as Kirckman Concert Society Young Artists for the 2019/2020 season, and Countess of Munster Trust Recital Scheme Artists for 2019-2022. In 2019 they won the Royal Philharmonic Society Henderson Award, and were named as YCAT finalists in 2020. They were selected as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists for the 2021-23 seasons, making numerous studio recordings, festival appearances and a Wigmore Hall debut in 2023 which was hailed in The Arts Desk as an "exhilarating, highly-toned" performance. Their debut album, ‘EROS’, will be released on the Linn label in November 2023.
His passion for the orchestral repertoire was ignited during his time as principal cellist in the National Youth Orchestra. He was appointed co-principal cellist with the London Mozart Players in 2022, and plays regularly as a guest with other orchestras including Philharmonia, Aurora and John Wilson’s Sinfonia of London.
He read music at Clare College, Cambridge before completing his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins. His studies were generously supported by awards from the Guildhall School, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Help Musicians UK, Coro Nuovo, and the Craxton Memorial Trust.