Leon Spierer served as first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, under the batons of principal conductors Karajan and Lorin Maazel, among others.
Leon Spierer was born in Berlin in 1928. He is a German-Argentinian violinist who worked as concertmaster in the Berlin Philharmonic from 1963 until 1993, about 26 years under the direction of the famous conductor Herbert von Karajan. Before this position he worked as concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1958 to 1963. He was born in Berlin in 1928 to a Russian-Polish family. In 1930 the family left Germany first for Luxembourg where Leon began to play the violin and then to Argentina in 1937. In Argentina Leon studied with Ljerko Spiller, a Croatian violinist. In addition to the violin Leon studied accounting and finance. In 1955 he received a British Council scholarship to study with Max Rostal. He worked for a year in Nuremberg and then in the Bremen Opera Orchestra, until he got a place in the Royal Stockholm Orchestra in 1958 and in the Berlin Philharmonic from 1963 until 1993. In 1969, Spierer received a German Music Critics Award for his versatility as an orchestral musician.