Leonard Garrison Biography

College of Letter Arts and Social Sciences viewbook image Leonard Garrison

“Garrison’s playing combines great virtuosity, superb control of musical expression, and high energy with lyricism. He makes the most difficult technical passage seem easy and extreme dynamics and wide leaps appear effortless.” – The Flute Network.

Leonard Garrison is Professor Emeritus and former University Distinguished Professor of Flute and Associate Director of the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho, flutist in The Scott/Garrison Duo, and Principal Flutist of the Walla Walla Symphony. A recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the National Flute Association, an Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellowship, a President’s Mid-Career Award at the University of Idaho, and 2016 prizes as Instrumental Soloist and in Chamber Music from The American Prize, he is faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. He has recorded twelve critically acclaimed CDs for Albany Records, Capstone Records, and Centaur Records and been a soloist on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, winner of the 2003 Byron Hester Competition,  concerto soloist on both flute and piccolo, and a frequent performer at National Flute Association conventions.

Garrison has served as President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Convention Program Chair of The National Flute Association. Previously, he was Instructor of Flute at The University of Tulsa, Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas and at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. He has performed in the Chicago Symphony (including a 2003 tour of Japan), the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Spokane Symphony, the Tulsa Philharmonic and Tulsa Opera Orchestra, the Scotia Festival, and the Music Festival of Arkansas.

Garrison’s Gaston Crunelle and Flute Playing in Twentieth-Century France has been published by Oxford University Press. His edition of the twelve fantasies for solo flute by Telemann was published by Theodore Presser and was a 2022 winner of the National Flute Association’s Newly Published Music Competition. The Flutist Quarterly, Flute Talk, and other journals have published Leonard’s many articles, and he has presented at The British Flute Society, national conferences of the National Flute Association, the College Music Society, the Midwest Clinic, and the National Association of Wind and Percussion Instructors, and conferences of the National Association for Music Education Northwest Division, the Ohio Music Education Association, and the Idaho Music Educators Association.

Leonard holds a Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with Walfrid Kujala and Richard Graef. He received Master of Music and Master of Arts degrees from Stony Brook University, studying with Samuel Baron. His Bachelor of Music is from the The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where his teacher was Robert Willoughby.