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David Leisner

New York, NY      

Fanfare magazine described the music of DAVID LEISNER as “rich in invention and melody, emotionally direct, and beautiful”. His music has been performed worldwide by such eminent artists as Wolfgang Holzmair, Sanford Sylvan, Paul Sperry, Juliana Gondek, Susan Narucki, D’Anna Fortunato, Michael Kelly, Rufus Müller, William Ferguson, Patrick Mason, Robert Osborne, Zuill Bailey, Tara O’Connor, Eugenia Zukerman, David Starobin, Benjamin Verdery, Brasil Guitar Duo, St. Lawrence, Enso and Avalon String Quartets, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Cavatina Duo, Arc Duo, as well as orchestras around the US. An extensive discography includes the much-praised Cedille CD of his flute and guitar music, Acrobats, performed by the Cavatina Duo, and his compositions are published primarily by Theodore Presser Co. Recent works and commissions include Pranayama for the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, Das Wunderbare Wesen for baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and solo cello, A Timeless Procession for Holzmair and string quartet, Vision of Orpheus for the St. Lawrence Quartet and Leisner, Love Dreams of the Exile for the Cavatina Duo and Avalon string quartet, Embrace of Peace for the Fairfield Orchestra, and Battlefield Requiem for cellist Laurence Lesser and the New England Conservatory Percussion Ensemble.

Leisner also maintains a busy career as a concert guitarist, and is currently the co-chair of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music.

“Vision of Orpheus”, 5th movement, Vision of Orpheus for guitar and string quartet

Written in 2000 for the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Vision of Orpheus is a 5-movement work for guitar and string quartet. Inspired by a painting by New Mexico painter, Mark Spencer, the work traces the emotional world of the Orpheus myth. In this last movement, the guitar plays a simple “folk tune in the distant blue”for Orpheus as he rises toward the earthly world, while the muted strings sing the questioning lament of the Underworld. Performers: iO String Quartet, David Leisner, gt, live performance

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“Va, Buxcate Otro Amor” from Love Dreams of the Exile for flute, guitar and string quartet

The three movements of Love Dreams of the Exile (2015) are stream-of-conscious meditations of Sephardic folk tunes. The folk song, about the anger and sadness of a woman whose lover has been unfaithful, appears at the end of this movement. Performers: Eugenia Moliner, fl, Denis Azabagic, gt, Avalon String Quartet, Cedille CD #90000 163.

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West Wind for tenor and guitar

West Wind (2011) is a cycle of 6 songs for tenor and guitar, set to the poems of Mary Oliver. Performers: Rufus Müller, tenor, David Leisner, gt

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