Leonardo Bartali studied at the Music School of Fiesole under the guidance of Piero Farulli and Fabrizio Merlini, graduating in 1986 at the Institute of Music "P. Mascagni" in Livorno.
In his first period of study he received the third prize in the II National Competition "Città di Sesto San Giovanni", was part of the Italian Youth Orchestra and attended the string quartet courses of Piero Farulli at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and of Dino Asciolla at the Academy of Citta di Castello.
He also attended lessons with Milan Skampa and Augusto Vismara, with whom he received his Postgraduate Diploma level at the Conservatory "L. Cherubini” of Florence with the mark of 110 with honors, playing in his final recital the Sonata for solo viola, Op. 25.1 by P. Hindemith and the Sonata for solo viola by G. Ligeti.
Leonardo Bartali was the founder of the Quartetto Elisa; a string quartet which studied under Franco Rossi in Venice, Citta di Castello and Sesto Fiorentino, continuing studies with Rudolf Barshai, Norbert Brainin and Salvatore Accardo.
Among the many affirmations received in Quartet Competitions we remember the Special Mention at the III Premio Paolo Borciani: International Competition for String Quartet; The First Prize at the X International Competition "Province of Caltanissetta"; the second prize at the XVII National Contest "F. Cilea" Palmi; Certificate of Merit at the XIII International Competition of Chamber Music of Trapani.
In 1995, along with nine other quartets, it was selected for the VII International Competition for String Quartet at the Banff Centre of Fine Arts in Alberta (Canada), and participated in the various rounds of the competition receiving a resounding success with audiences and critics, and a few airings on the Canadian radio.
In 1996 it was awarded the Borsa di Studio "Franco Rossi", created by Franco Rossi, Giuliano Carmignola, Stefano Zanchetta, Tommaso Poggi, Fabrizio Merlini and Mario Brunello, established by the School of Music of Sesto Fiorentino and the record company Ermitage.
Among the societies that have hosted the Quartetto Elisa are the Teatro Comunale in Florence, the Friends of Music of Perugia, the Quartet Society of Vercelli, the Teatro dei Filodrammatici di Milano, the G.O.G. of Genoa, the Philharmonic Association Umbra, the Festival of Nations in Citta di Castello. In September '95, the Quartet held a tour in Japan. In February '97 the Quartet made its debut in the season of the Friends of Music of Florence with great success of public and critical acclaim from the specialized press.The Elisa Quartet has recorded for the labels Frame, Antes Concerto and, for Dynamic, three of the six quartets of Giovanni Bottesini in a world premiere. The recordings have had great reviews in magazines like Amadeus, CD Classics & Strad.
Leonardo Bartali has had a number of experiences with contemporary music: in addition to Monolog for viola and string orchestra by A. Schnittke with the Chamber Orchestra of Florence, he has been part of the group E.CO. for Contemporary Experience with whom he has played in various festivals and European cities including Venice Biennale, Edinburgh, Brussels and Liege; with the group Concentus Musicus directed by Luciano Berio he has performed at the Festival of Strasbourg, in a duo with pianist and composer Marco Bonechi performs a program of music by B. Britten; Lachrymae, D. Shostakovich; Sonata, and Chanson popular triste of Marco Bonechi for solo viola, and also offers a program for solo viola with the music of the most interesting composers of the twentieth century including: Ligeti, Kurtag, Stravinsky, Bussotti, Sciarrino and Hindemith. With the Archi di Firenze he has collaborated with guitarist Flavio Cucchi playing the famous transcriptions of Leo Brouwer of some Beatles songs and compositions by Oliviero Lacagnina.
Leonardo Bartali has played with, among others, the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tuscany Regional Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Padua and Veneto, in the Symphonic Orchestra of Sanremo, where he was the Principal Viola for three years, Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina where for many years holds the position of Principal Viola, and where he has had the opportunity to perform as a soloist, in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, in Monolog of A. Schnittke and on other occasions. Since 1997 he works as Principal Viola with the orchestra of the Puccini Festival.
Leonardo Bartali is professor of chamber music at the Conservatory "A. Boito "of Parma.