Sandro Leal-Santiesteban began his musical journey in Havana, Cuba. While living in Cuba, he performed with many orchestras in the Americas including the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Symphony Orchestra, and throughout Europe with the Cuban Dance Company of Lizt Alfonso. At age sixteen, Leal was featured with the Sinfónica de Matanzas performing Khachaturian’s violin concerto under the baton of his mother Lourdes Santiesteban.
After immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, Sandro studied for a year at the preparatory school of New England Conservatory with Marylou Churchill. Sandro also has a Bachelors’s degree from Eastman School of Music where he studied with Mikhail Kopelman and a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University School of Music under the tutelage of Prof. Cyrus Forough.
Memorable performances for Sandro include the Mendelssohn String Octet alongside former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Andrés Cárdenes, Behzad Ranjbaran’s Violin Concerto with the Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic as first prize winner of the Carnegie Mellon University concerto competition, and an American tour with the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra following a semi-finalist award for the 2006 Sphinx Competition. Other notable concerts include playing under the direction of Plácido Domingo, Kent Nagano, and Carlos Miguel Prieto.
Sandro is currently a member of the Beo String Quartet. His ongoing projects include recording a debut solo album featuring Sean Neukom's Solo Violin Sonatas, the fourth of which is dedicated to him. The album is scheduled for release in 2016. As a recent winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society, Sandro will premiere Neukom’s fourth Sonata in the fall of 2015.