Leon Rothenberg brings an extensive and varied background in music composition and computer programming to his work as a sound designer. In 1995 he studied North Indian Classical Music at the Sangit Mahabharati School in Mumbai, India while a student at Oberlin College, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree as well as a B.A. in Computer Science. He earned his MFA in Sound Design from the California Institute of the Arts in 2002.
“I like to think that my way of thinking about sound is very musical. Even as a kid I knew I wanted a career in music and I played many different instruments. But I had also done lots of sound experiments using a reel-to-reel machine, starting when I was about eight years old,” Leon recalls. “In college I started writing music for plays and I realized sound composition and sound design for theatre provided far more opportunities for collaboration, and that was exciting.”
After completing graduate school Leon worked as a Production Engineer for college and community theatrical productions in Southern California. It wasn’t long before he found himself in demand for larger shows at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, New York and further afield. In 2003 he co-designed the sound for a large multi-building site-specific production of King Lear that was presented in Los Angeles and in France. He has also worked on a number of experimental animation films and taught courses in Creative Listening and Sound Design.
Leon Rothenberg’s first experience on a Cirque du Soleil show was as the assistant to sound designer Jonathan Deans on KÀ. Their association continued with Corteo, LOVE at the Mirage, and the travelling show Kooza – for which Leon received his first Cirque credit as a sound designer.
Leon summarizes his approach to Wintuk by observing, “You want to reconcile the auditory experience with the visual experience so that no matter where you sit you get something compelling and interesting.”
Leon Rothenberg was born in 1974 in Boston, Massachusetts.