Leon Thomasian

Born and raised in the middle of a warzone, I fled Iraq with my family at the age of 12. While living in Syria as a refugee, I was able to continue my classical studies, and for the first time, I was also exposed to jazz, rock and progressive metal. I joined bands and explored different genres. I started transcribing scores and wrote my own listening and rhythmic exercises. Coming from Armenian/Chaldean parents, I developed an interest in Armenian/Middle Eastern ethnic music and explored odd time signatures and obscure scales.

In 2008, I started a new challenging life as an immigrant in Los Angeles, California. My passion for music motivated me to learn English, go through part-time jobs, cope with financial difficulties and still be able to manage school life and music studies. Living in the US provided me with a lot of new learning resources. 

I graduated from California State University, Northridge with a bachelor’s degree in Media Composition and a master’s degree in Composition in 2016. After graduating, I did not have a solid direction to go full-time with music. I worked as an administrator, an accompanist, and a private piano teacher but it was not a fulfilling experience musically and financially. At some point, I even worked in construction, jewelry, and other random jobs. While still going through this ambiguous phase, I got married to my wife -also a musician- and then the pandemic happened. That gave me a chance to rearrange my priorities, and with my family's encouragement I was able to get my music life back. I will forever be grateful for their unwavering support. I'm proud to say, I've been making huge progress, and this has been the best decision of my life. I am finally a working full-time musician offering a variety of services to my clients.

Currently, I teach and perform piano for private and public recitals, concerts, trade shows, and various online music platforms. I perform solo concerts as well as with bands/ensembles such as The StArt Ensemble, Ace Trio, and Satellite Citi. As a freelance musician, I offer a wide range of services such as music transcription, orchestral mock-ups, arrangements for all ensemble sizes, and original music for multimedia. I have published original compositions, as well as new piano arrangements of pop songs, movie soundtracks and world music, which have been well received. Additionally, I get commissioned by music companies to provide content for their instruments. My latest composition "Voyage" was published by Casio and featured their latest Privia digital piano. I also release new content on a weekly basis and feature hardware instruments and sample libraries on my YouTube channel and other platforms. I'm an official artist for Casio and a product ambassador for several companies and work on new demos on a daily basis.

I will forever be proud of achieving my goals after going through all those obstacles and starting a new life in the US yet still managed to graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field I am most passionate about and make a successful career out of it.

What sets me apart from others is that I was incredibly lucky to be exposed to many different genres of music including ethnic music which broadened my understanding of different harmonies and music styles. I heavily rely on listening and I am able to play anything by ear while also maintaining a high level of sight reading skills.

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