- DMA, Violoncello Performance, Cleveland Institute of Music
- MMus, Violoncello Performance, Cleveland Institute of Music
- BMus, Music, Wayne State University
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Yuriy Leonovich immigrated with his family to the United States, where he began studying cello and composition. Leonovich's cello teachers include Stephen Geber, Robert De Maine and Marcy Chanteaux. He studied composition with James Hartway. Leonovich received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Leonovich is an active proponent of Eastern European, Spanish, Soviet-era, as well as new music. He has collaborated with Kimbo Ishii-Eto in the Cleveland premiere of Khachaturian's Concerto-Rhapsody and with Gary Ciepluch in the Cleveland premiere of De Meij's Casanova. As an active recitalist, Leonovich frequently collaborates with Daniil Trifonov, Elizabeth De Mio and Jeanette Aufiero.
His compositions and arrangements have been played in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia/Oceania by Massimo La Rosa, Brian Thornton, the Spirale Piano Trio, the New Zealand viola ensemble Viola Viva: The Next Generation and others. In 2010 the Cleveland Orchestra's principal trombone Massimo La Rosa recorded Leonovich's arrangement of Rossini's Barber of Seville overture. This recording, which appears on La Rosa's "Cantando" album, marked Leonovich's commercial-recording debut. La Rosa frequently takes the arrangement on tour to Italy and South America. Leonovich's arrangement of Puccini's Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut is now available on La Rosa's "Sempre Espressivo" album. The Rusalka Fantasie, which has been performed internationally by various Cleveland Orchestra members, is featured on Brian Thornton and Spencer Myer's Kol Nidrei and Beyond: Lev's Story - a tribute to Lev Aronson.