Professor at the Sommerakademie in Salzburg, Alfonso X el Sabio University, Forum Musikae Higher School of Music. Exclusive Artist of Yangtze River Piano (China), artistic director and founder of the María Herrero International Piano Competition (Granada) and the Spain International Piano Composers Competition (WFIMC) in Madrid, as well as the Granada Music Festival “Leonel Morales and Friends.” Since 2024, exclusive representative of the prestigious German piano brand Grotian-Steinweg in Spain.

Leonel Morales has been an exclusive artist with the concert agency MUSIESPAÑA for over 25 years and is also a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of Santa Isabel de Hungría.

Born in Cuba, naturalized Spanish, and resident since 1991, Morales studied at the University of Havana under the guidance of Maestro Frank Fernández, a student of Víctor Merzhanov, thus inheriting and following the deepest roots of the great and traditional Russian school. He also studied in Weimar with Maestro Jacov Latainer and worked with Mihail Voskresensky during his time in Cuba as a selected student. For two years, he was an assistant in the class of the late great master Aquiles Delle Vigne at the Sommerakademie in Salzburg. Morales arrived in Spain at the age of 25 and between the ages of 26 and 28, he won first prizes in several international competitions such as the Guerrero Foundation International Piano Competition, Citat de Manresa, Teresa Carreño, Jaén International Piano Competition, along with special awards for Best Contemporary Music Interpretation and the “Rosa Sabater” Award for Best Spanish Music Interpretation. He also won the Second Prize at the Santa Cecilia International Piano Competition in Oporto, the Distinzione Prize at the Aosta International Piano Competition, the Sommerakademie Prize at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the William Kapell Prize, among others.

At the age of 28, he ceased competing as his career was fully consolidated, performing with all the major orchestras in Spain, notably his tour featuring the complete Rachmaninoff piano concertos including the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Since 2018, he has been an exclusive artist in China for the Yangtze River piano brand, performing annual concert tours in the country’s top venues such as the Wuhan Quintai Concert Hall, Harbin Concert Hall, Shenzhen Grand Theater, Central Conservatory of Music Beijing, Yichang Grand Theatre, and X’ian Concert Hall, also conducting masterclasses and lectures, etc.

His two-hour masterclass held during the Shenzhen International Piano and Orchestra Competition in 2024 reached a broadcast of over 10,000 listeners, making it the most listened to in the history of streaming masterclasses organized by Parsons Music.

In October 2008, he received the prestigious “Tasto D’Argento 2008” award (Alexandria, Italy) for his consolidated international career. He displayed his exceptional talents in concerts across the United States with the National Orchestra of Spain, National Orchestra of Mexico, throughout Germany with the Valencia Symphony Orchestra and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.

…His incredible Concert of Tchaikovsky created an instantaneous ovation. “Hero of the day”.

(Palm Beach Post)

…The Spanish pianist with Cuban origin, was the hero of the night, with his enormous technique achieved the magic in every note with facility. He played the piano with elegance, discipline and intelligence.

(Die Rheinpfalz)

He is invited to be a part of the jury in important international piano competitions such as the China Shenzhen International Piano and Orchestra Competition (China), Cleveland Competition, Ettore Pozzoli Competition, Scriabin Competition (Grosseto), Lyon Competition, Valsecia Competition, Cesar Franck Competition, Pancho Vladigerov Competition, UNISA (South Africa), Santa Cecilia Competition (Oporto), Shenzhen Competition, Clara Schumann Competition, Rio de Janeiro Competition, Epinal Competition, Cantú Competition, Rina Sala Galo Competition (Monza), Russian Composer Competition (San Remo), Ciudade de Ferrol Competition, J. Brahms Competition (Vienna), Seiler Piano Open Competition Tsingtao, and International Youth Piano Competition (Shanghai), among others.

Leonel Morales’s class is considered one of the strongest and highest level in Spain, with his students winning over 50 national and international awards each year, competitions such as José Iturbi, UNISA, Hummel, Epinal, Paderewski, Sommerakademie Salzburg, Lyon, Santa Cecilia (Oporto), CSIPCC Shenzhen, Ferrol being some of the competitions won by his students.

Morales conducts masterclasses all over the world in places such as the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Korea, Italy, Mexico, France, Belgium, China, Japan, Italy, Poland, Croatia, USA, Belgium, Germany, and France, etc.

In the interpretation of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas, Morales has been called by critics one of the best interpreters of this brilliant composer.

During his tours in the USA with the National Symphony Orchestra of Spain and the State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico organized by Columbia Artists, he had the opportunity to perform in the most important venues in North America, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, David Geffen Hall, and Alice Tully Hall, receiving great success with critics and audiences.

… extraordinary interpretation and power


…Undoubtedly Morales is a pianist of great virtuosity, trust, efficiency but of big naturality and without big gestures


Once again in 2010, the critic named him “the hero” on the concert tour in Germany in venues such as “Beethovensaal” in Stuttgart, “BASF-Feierabendhaus” in Ludwigshafen with the Valencia Symphony Orchestra playing F. Chopin’s Concerto No. 1…

In Carnegie Hall in New York, it was said of him… Impressively clean and nicely structured Sonata Op. 101 of Beethoven… His marvelous Petrushka made the audience tremble.


More than 60 pianists from all over the world come to his International Masterclass and Piano Festival in Granada (Leonel Morales & Friends) held every year in July.

Morales’s skill and virtuosity have often been demonstrated during his concerts with the National Orchestra of Spain, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Radio and TV Orchestra of Spain, Royal Philharmonic of Galicia, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Murcia Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Portugal, Oporto Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt-Oder Orchestra, RAI Turin Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Adana, Istanbul Symphonic Orchestra, Ankara Symphonic Orchestra, Virtuosos Orchestra of the Berlin Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra, Denver Philharmonic, Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Toruń Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Zemtrun (Dortmund), Burgos Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Miami Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Symphony Orchestra, where he has shown his ability as a soloist, conducted by important Spanish and foreign directors such as: Frühbeck de Burgos, Cristóbal Halffter, Víctor Pablo González, Juanjo Mena, Pedro Halffter, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, Manuel Galduf, Enrique García Asensio, Antoni Ros Marbá, Max Valdés, Tania León, Michael Jurowski, George Pehlivanian, Alexander Rahbari, Marc Tardue, Jacques Mercier, Adrian Leaper, George Pehlivaniam, Jacques Mercier, Ovidiu Balan, Franz Krager, John Bae, Emin Güven Yasliçam, Jiri Malat, Enrique Bátiz, Marzio Conti, Yaron Traub, Pavel Baleff, Joel Revzen, En Schao, Antoni Witt, Mariusz Smolij, Lawrence Golan, Andrés Salado among others.

Currently, he shares his class with his son Leo de María, winner of international competitions, as an assistant, in his chair at Alfonso X el Sabio University, combining it with his intense concert activity, performing an average of 40 concerts annually.