A native of Boston, Patricia Leonard’s early musical training began with piano studies, followed by composition studies at The New England Conservatory. She received a degree in Composition from The Boston Conservatory of Music. Principal composition teachers include Larry Thomas Bell and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici.
Ms. Leonard’s music is performed frequently in the U.S. and in Europe, and her music has been premiered by acclaimed ensembles and artists such as the New York Piano Quintet, featuring members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Broadway singer Timothy Shew; Grammy Award-winning clarinetist Eddie Daniels and renowned contemporary music pianist Christopher Oldfather.
In recent news, her work My Dearest Friend based on the letters of John and Abigail Adams was remounted as an opera on July 2, 2016 at Peace field, the Adams family home in Quincy, MA. Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer reprised her role as “Abigail” and Charles Taylor joined the production as “John Adams.” Maestro Sean Newhouse led an orchestra of Boston’s finest musicians. This production was made possible, in part, by funds from Ms. Leonard’s 2015 Opera America Prize in support of female opera composers. My Dearest Friend was first presented as a song cycle at Jordan Hall in Boston on October 3, 2014 under the baton of Newhouse, and featured Harmer as “Abigail Adams” and baritone John Moore as “John Adams.”
Ms. Leonard was a semi-finalist for the American Prize in Composition for her piano trio Strangely Close, Yet Distant; this trio is also featured on the CD, Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words, released by Urlicht Records.
Ms. Leonard’s compositions have been reviewed as “arresting and evocative with innovative harmonies” by New York Concert Review; the New Music Connoisseur reviewed her musical style as “revealing musical sophistication and a high level of craftsmanship” and “wildly imaginative and vivid storytelling with virtuosic variety.”
Ms. Leonard is a founding member and Deputy Executive Director of New York Composers Circle and shared the group’s inaugural concert in May 2003 with guest composer, David Del Tredici. She is also a Board member of The League of Composers/ISCM, and a member of International Alliance of Women in Music, and New York Women Composers. Also an opera judge, Ms. Leonard panels the annual Violetta DuPont, Gerda Lissner and The Licia Albanese – Puccini vocal competitions for aspiring young opera singers.