LEO KELLIS was born in Los Angeles in 1927. He began playing piano at the age of three, and by the time he was seven, had decided to become a composer.
With the aid of some old sheet music, Mr KELLIS began teaching himself harmony & form using just the works of the masters as his guide. As his unique style of writing developed & presented new challenges in performing technique, LEO studied piano with Niel McKie of Los Angeles, who introduced the young man to the writings of such keyboard giants as Chopin, Liszt, Godowsky and Rachmaninoff to show to what degree the instrument had been developed. Many years later LEO expanded his musical knowledge by studying with musicologist Julius Gold through the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music.
Today, a self-styled "21st Century Romantic" with original compositions numbering well into the hundreds, Mr KELLIS has also written many transcriptions and paraphases. Among his major works are Variations on themes of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Balakirev.
Together with his wife Lorrie, LEO KELLIS moved to the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington State in 1988, and has been writing full time ever since. His most recent works include the suites: Christmas on the Long Beach Peninsula, Scenes from the North Coast, the Cranberrian Fair, the Garlic Festival and the Lakes of North Beach.