Hailed as a pianist who “communicates deep artistic understanding through a powerful and virtuosic technique,” Lisa Leonard enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, and educator. In 1990, at the age of 17, Leonard made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra in six concerts at the Kennedy Center. She has appeared throughout Europe, Japan, Russia and North America with many orchestras including recent performances with the Oregon Mozart Players, and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. An active chamber musician, she has performed with members of the Berlin, Vienna, New York, Cleveland and Cincinnati Symphonies, in addition to members of the American and Mendelssohn String Quartets and the Empire Brass Quintet in performances featured on National Public Radios’ “Performance Today” and “Command Performance” programs. Her love of new music has resulted in several premieres of both solo and chamber music, including James Aikmans’ Sonata No. 3, which she premiered and recorded with violinist Alexander Kerr.
In 2006, James Stephenson wrote the Concerto for Trumpet and Piano for Leonard and her husband, Marc Reese, which they premiered at The New Music Festival at Lynn University with the Lynn University Philharmonia. The performance was noted as one of South Florida’s Top 10 performances of 2007, which also included her performance of the Brahms F minor Piano Quintet at the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival.
In 2007, Leonard debuted her now very popular recital program, A Soirée for the 21st Century, which focuses on intimate music for intimate settings creating a unique connection between the audience and performer which is further enhanced by interesting conversation about the music as well as wine tasting, featuring vintages reflective of the program’s character. Additionally, she introduced the public to the unknown romantic Bohemian composer, Hans Seeling, whose previously unrecorded music will be featured on her next CD.
Leonard has served on the faculties of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Meadowmount School of Music and the Las Vegas Music Festival. She has performed at the Pacific Music Festival, Gilmore International, Caramoor, the East/West International Festival and is a member of the Palm Beach Chamber Players. Leonard can be heard on the Klavier, Centaur, and Summit labels and has been featured on Japan’s NHK television network. She currently serves on the piano faculty of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music, where she strives to help her students become versatile, well-rounded performers and teachers. She founded the Lynn University Collegiate Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association, to which she serves as faculty adviser. A native of Washington, D.C., Leonard received her M.M. and B.M. from the Manhattan School of Music where she was the premiere recipient of both the Rubinstein and Balsam awards, two of the highest awards given. Her former teachers include Marc Silverman, Suzanne W. Guy, Eric Larsen, Isidore Cohen, Thomas Schumacher, Cynthia Phelps, David Geber and the Meadowmount Trio.
- B.M., Manhattan School of Music
- M.M., Manhattan School of Music