A dynamic young cellist who plays with "full-bloodied commitment", "ample emotionality" and "delicious dancing grace", Leo Popplewell studied at Clare College, Cambridge, and later at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Leo has performed in many of the world’s leading concert halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, and London’s Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall and Southbank Centre. His festival appearances include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Barnes Music Festival, Newbury Spring Festival, Orpheus and Bacchus Festival, Cambridge Summer Music Festival, Lake District Summer Music Festival and Highgate International Chamber Music Festival. He has played in masterclasses for Adrian Brendel, Pierre Doumenge and Alexander Baillie at the International Cello Gathering, Brian O’Kane at the Machynlleth Festival, and for Steven Isserlis at Wigmore Hall. In 2019 he won the Coro Nuovo Young Musician of the Year Competition, and is on the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme for the 2020/21 season. He has been broadcasted regularly on national radio, most recently performing solo and chamber works by Detlev Glanert on BBC Radio 3.
In 2017 he formed the Mithras Piano Trio, winning first prize at the 10th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, 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 have performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Milton Court Concert Hall among others. In 2019 they won the Royal Philharmonic Society Henderson Award, and were named as YCAT 2020 finalists. In addition to his work with the Mithras Trio, his chamber music partners have included the Wihan, Chilingirian and Heath Quartets, the Frith Piano Quartet, Jinjoo Cho and Kyoko Hashimoto.
His studies have been generously supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Help Musicians, and the Craxton Memorial Trust.