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Ellis Ludwig-Leone is a composer and songwriter active in New York City. 

He is the songwriter and bandleader for Brooklyn-based San Fermin, which has received critical praise from the likes of NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Le Monde, Washington Post, and more. The band’s third album Belong was released on Downtown/Interscope Records on April 7, 2017.

In addition to his work with San Fermin, Ludwig-Leone has written for a wide variety of ensembles and soloists, including ACME, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Decoda, Fifth House Ensemble, Hotel Elefant, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, JACK Quartet, NOW Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, wild Up, and harpist Lavinia Meijer. He was named the 2015 Composer-In-Residence for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and is a recipient of residencies from The MacDowell Colony, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Við Djúpið music festival in Iceland. 

Ludwig-Leone has worked extensively with choreographer Troy Schumacher, composing five ballets for Schumacher’s ballet company BalletCollective. Together the pair have collaborated with visual artist David Salle, architect (and New York City Lowline creator) James Ramsey, photographer Paul Maffi, and poet Cynthia Zarin. In 2015, the New York City Ballet premiered Common Ground, Ludwig-Leone’s first commission from the company. 

Ludwig-Leone is currently working on a full-length musical with best-selling author Jane Mendelsohn and Tony-winning director Diane Paulus, commissioned by the American Repertory Theatre. Other upcoming works include a solo piano piece for the pianist Simone Dinnerstein to be premiered at Boston Symphony Hall in the fall of 2018, and an evening-length ballet in collaboration with the novelist Karen Russell for BalletCollective. 

Upon graduating from Yale University in 2011, Ludwig-Leone worked as a musical assistant for the composer Nico Muhly. Born in Rhode Island and raised in rural Massachusetts, he currently lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.


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Sonsick (official Video)

directed by Benjamin Kutsko, 2013.


 Watch more videos


San Fermin - Jackrabbit

Downtown Records, 2015

Purchase on iTunes


San Fermin - San Fermin

Downtown Records, 2013.

Purchase on iTunes





List of Works (selected)


Simple Machine for flute, clarinet, piano, guitar & double bass, 10’ (2016).

Until the Walls Cave In for oboe, piano, string quartet & electronic playback, 23’ (2016).

Invisible Divide for vocalist, oboe, guitar, piano, keyboard & string quartet, 24’ (2015).

All That We See for baritone saxophone, electric guitar, piano & string quartet, 19’ (2014).

Dear and Blackbirds multiple versions: for string quartet, for oboe quartet, 10’ (2014).

The Impulse Wants Company for piano quintet, 22’ (2013).

GROW for clarinet quintet, 8’ (2012).

Suite for Flute & Harp, 8’ (2012).

Four Short Pieces for String Quartet, 6’ (2011).

Secrets for cello, piano & electronic playback, 8’ (2009).



Common Ground for orchestra, 15’ (2015).

How To Fake Your Death for orchestra, 12’ (2015).

Cello Concerto for orchestra & solo cello, 11’ (2011).

4 Episodes for Orchestra and Electronics, for orchestra and electronic playback, 12’ (2011).



Sixty-Seven for children’s choir and large chamber ensemble, 15’ (2016).



Simpler Language for harp, 6’ (2016).

Night Loops for harp, looping pedal & electronics, 9’ (2014).

Elaborate Monument for piano, 8’ (2011).