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, Ms. 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 Redlands Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Mozart Players, and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela with conductors including Gunther Schuller and Gustavo Dudamel.
An active and dedicated chamber musician, her recent collaborations have included recitals with Elmar Oliveira, Marc Reese and Guillermo Figueroa. She is a long time member of the Palm Beach Chamber Players and has performed with members of the Concertgebouw, Berlin, Vienna, New York, Cleveland, Dallas, Minnesota and Cincinnati Symphonies; American and Miami 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 Stephenson’s Concerto for Trumpet and Piano which was written for her and her husband, Marc Reese, which they premiered 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. Critic Lawrence Budmen said, “Her stellar technique, deeply penetrating musicality and volcanic power turned Brahms’ darkly ruminative score into an edge of the seat tour de force. She uncovered new sonic layers in an awesome deconstruction of a chamber music masterpiece.”
Leonard has served on the faculties of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Meadowmount School of Music as a collaborative pianist, and the Las Vegas Music Festival. She is currently the head of the Graduate Instrumental Collaborative Piano Program at Lynn University where she also directs the annual New Music Festival, a week-long celebration of modern music which has presented more than fifty world premieres since 2006. She has performed at many festivals including the Pacific Music Festival, Gilmore International and Caramoor; has been featured on Japan’s NHK television network, PBS and can be heard on the Klavier, Centaur, and Summit labels. 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
I teach to cultivate the artistic and personal strengths of the individual as they relate to the acquisition and development of the skills fundamental to the success of the 21st century musician. A successful professional is one who possesses the tools of self-assessment and motivation, and to that end, all areas of study from the studio to the stage are framed to aid the individual in becoming their own teacher.