Leonard Candelaria

Leonard Candelaria

World Renowned Artist & Pedagogue

Dr. Leonard A. Candelaria is hailed as a world-class trumpeter and one of America’s distinguished artist-teachers who has been called “a living legend” and “an icon” in the trumpet playing and teaching professions. As a soloist his concerts and recitals in the United States, Europe, Asia and Central America have been lauded by audiences and music professionals alike for the spectacular virtuosity and high artistry of his trumpet playing. For twenty-nine years he served on the faculty of the College of Music at the University of North Texas (UNT), the largest school of music in the United States. There he earned the prestigious title, Regents Professor of Music, and was the recipient of the Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award. Following his retirement from UNT Candelaria served as Professor of Trumpet and Artist in Residence at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)  from 2002 to 2009. He has also served as trumpet instructor at Samford University, Birmingham Southern College and the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

Dr. Candelaria has performed concerts and presented master classes at such major institutions as the Royal Academy of Music (UK), the Gnessin Institute (Russia), the Moscow Conservatory (Russia), the Royal Norwegian State Academy of Music (Oslo), the Saratov Conservatory of Music (Russia), the Kiev Conservatory of Music (Republic of the Ukraine), the Musikhogskolan of Gothenburg University (Sweden), the Royal Welsh Academy of Music (UK), Trinity College (UK), the University of Costa Rica, the Central Music Conservatory (Beijing, China), the Latvian National Academy of Music (Riga) and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music (China). He has also appeared in clinics and recitals at dozens of colleges and major universities throughout the United States. Candelaria has performed extensively with professional orchestras such as the Dallas Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Dallas Bach Society, the Texas Bach Collegium, the Orchestra of New Spain, and with the Edward Tarr Trumpet Ensemble and the Summit Brass. He has appeared as an artist at jazz festivals in the USA and, as a student, Candelaria was a member of internationally acclaimed North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band. He earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in music education from the University of North Texas and the Doctor of Music degree in trumpet performance from Northwestern University. His major teachers include John James Haynie, Vincent Cichowicz and Dr. Edward H. Tarr.

Leonard Candelaria has asserted significant leadership and a strong artistic presence in the world-wide trumpet teaching and playing professions. He was elected 1993-95 President of the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) and in 2003 he was awarded the ITG Award of Merit by vote of the ITG officers and board of directors “in recognition of a lifetime of significant achievement as a performer and teacher throughout the world.” He served multiple terms as a member of ITG’s Board of Directors and has organized and hosted several major international conferences and competitions.

Dr. Candelaria has frequently been invited to serve as a juror and guest artist for important international events such as the Moscow International Trumpet Competition and Festival (1995, 1997, 2000), the Timofei Dokshizer International Trumpet Competition in Vilnius, Lithuania (2002) and trumpet competitions in Saratov, Russia (1996) and Kiev, the Republic of the Ukraine (1998). He has presented performances and master classes at the University of Costa Rica and was a featured artist for the 2007 conference of the Chinese Trumpet Guild. He has also presented concerts and master classes at Chinese music conservatories in Beijing, Yan Tai, Langzhou, Weihai, Shenzhen and Tianjin. He was invited to serve in a one-week residency at the Latvian National Music Academy in Riga in 2008. Most recently Dr. Candelaria was a guest artist and juror at the Tianjin Jinbao International Brass Festival in August of 2019.

In addition to the scores of his former students who are outstanding leaders in the field of music education, more than fifty of Dr. Candelaria’s students hold or have held trumpet teaching appointments in universities and conservatories in the USA and abroad. Many of his students have performed with premiere professional organizations such as the Dallas Symphony, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tenerife Symphony (Canary Islands), the Stavanger Symphony (Norway), the National Orchestra of the Dominican Republic, the New Mexico Symphony, the Columbus Symphony and the orchestras of the New York Metropolitan, Dallas, Fort Worth and Santa Fe opera companies, among others. His students have also been members of the big bands of Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, DIVA and serve as members of elite military musical organizations including the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note, the U.S. Army Blues, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, the U.S. Army Band and the U.S. Army Field Band and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets. Trumpet ensembles comprised of his students have performed in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Australia as well as at major international conferences in the USA and abroad.

Dr. Candelaria is a Schilke artist and performs exclusively on Schilke trumpets. He resides in Belton, Texas, with his wife and duo-partner, pianist Dr. Kathryn Fouse, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor.