San Fermin's Ellis Ludwig-Leone Bridges the Gap Between Classical and Pop

By Philip Trapp on May 31, 2016 09:51 AM EDT

Musician Ellis Ludwig-Leone leads a rich musical life. Instrumentalist for de rigueur Brooklyn indie group San Fermin, the artist graduated from Yale University with a music composition degree. He currently writes baroque pop songs with his band while additionally orchestrating classical scores and ballets.

While deeply submerged in his university studies, the musician learned his classical chops from composer Nico Muhly. Muhly, who has worked with popular indie artists like Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear and Antony and the Johnstons, took Ludwig-Leone under his wing while showing him the ropes in composing film scores.

Speaking to Southern California Public Radio, Lugwig-Leone detailed his formative classical training while attending school:

"I got into classical music in college because there was nothing else to study if you wanted to do music. It was that or you could join an a cappella group, God forbid. I mean, I can't sing either. So anyway, I just threw myself into it and actually started to really like it. I did play classical piano as a kid, so it kind of clicked."

San Fermin released their latest album, Jackrabbit, just last year -- the full-length debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart. The band made television appearances on both CBS This Morning and Last Call With Carson Daly in promotion of the release.

Meanwhile, Ludwig-Leone continues to work on his classical compositions. He told online publication The Wild Honey Pie that he is currently producing a ballet:

"Right now, I actually have a ballet that I'm finishing, which I'm writing for this dance company called Ballet Collective, and it's a piano quintet (piano and string quartet). I'm writing it for this classical music group called Acme, and they're totally great. So, I have a separate career writing concert music and writing for various artists, but the band is really for a certain kind of personal expression."

Below, take a listen to San Fermin's song "Jackrabbit" from the aforementioned album of the same name. Let us know what you think of the tune in the comments section, we would love to hear from you.

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TagsEllis Ludwig-Leone, San Fermin

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