Patricia LeonardNew York, NY
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 completed song cycle “My Dearest Friend" – The Letters of John and Abigail Adams will premiere in Boston in October 2014. This work for orchestra, soprano and baritone will feature Metropolitan Opera soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer as Abigail. Ms. Leonard was recently a semi-finalist for the American Prize in Composition for her piano trio "Strangely Close, Yet Distant;" this trio is also featured on a special Mahler Anniversary CD that was released in September 2012.
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 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. 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
John Adams Theme
America’s first “power couple,” John and Abigail Adams shared a correspondence of over 1,100 letters from 1762-1801 that detailed some of the most significant events in American history. Their personal accounts of America’s political tensions with Great Britain and their unyielding determination to design a new independent nation are beautifully nuanced with descriptions of domestic life in Boston, and underscored with Abigail’s tremendous personal sacrifices to support her husband’s political career. This piece is the intro to the cycle.
Prayer for the President and the White House
John Adams becomes the second President of the United States. Abigail writes to John with a special prayer upon his presidency that “the things which make for peace shall not be hidden from your eyes.” John writes to Abigail with a prayer for the White House: “I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inherit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under its roof.”
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