Leho Karin is one of the most highly valued cellists in Estonia. He is a long-time member of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, he has played the cello in NYYD Ensemble in 1993–2012 and from 2013, in YXUS Ensemble. He has also played tenor viola da gamba in ensemble GambarinG with Tõnu Jõesaar and Peeter Klaas. Since 1995, Leho Karin has also been working as a cello teacher at the Tallinn Music High School.
Leho Karin began his cello studies at the Tallinn Music High School under the guidance of his grandmother Laine Leichter. In 1991, he graduated from the Tallinn State Conservatoire as a student of Toomas Velmet. In 1991–1992, he continued his studies with F. Helmerson at the Edsberg Music Institute in Sweden, taking further lessons with Martin Ostertag at the Higher School of Music in Karlsruhe.
He has appeared as a soloist in Finland, Sweden and Russia, and has taken part in various music projects in Estonia. He has played with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra. Leho Karin has been a member of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra since 1993, and has performed in many countries in Europe, North America, Japan and the U. S.. He has made numerous recordings, including recordings for ECM of works by Arvo Pärt, Heino Eller and Erkki-Sven Tüür.
With NYYD Ensemble he has performed in many important contemporary music festivals in Europe, including ArtGenda in Copenhagen (1996), Baltic Arts in London (1996), Musiikin Aika in Viitasaari, Finland (2001), Warsaw Autumn in Poland, Gaida in Vilnius, MaerzMusik in Berlin (2003) and Klangspuren in Austria. Since the spring 2013, Leho Karin plays cello in contemporary music group YXUS Ensemble that has grown out from the NYYD Ensemble.
The repertoire of Leho Karini includes besides of classical large scale works (Haydn, Tchaikovsky a.o.) also music of the 20th century like Britten’s Cello Symphony, Mania by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Cello concerto by Erkki-Sven Tüür, 1st movement of Eduard Tubin’s unfinished cello concerto etc. Ha has collaborated with several Estonian composers such as Raimo Kangro, Galina Grigorjeva, Erkki-Sven Tüür, René Eespere, Tõnu Kõrvits and Helena Tulve, being often the first performer of their new compositions.