LESLIE LA BARRE is a California-based composer whose specializations include: multidisciplinary collaborations, instrumental conducting, film orchestral literature, and musicology. Her catalog includes works for a myriad of ensembles including original works for dance, choral, chamber ensembles, and symphonic orchestras.

With a background in jazz piano, percussion, oboe and English Horn, her music blends the respective elements of both jazz and classical genres. She thrives on writing kinetic music that uses distinctive aural-architectural compositional techniques.

Among those who have performed her music are: Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, Armen Ksajikian, Savage Jazz Dance Company and Oakland School for the Arts, Aperture Duo,  REDSHIFT Ensemble, Amaranth String Quartet, American Composers Ensemble, Oregon Bach Festival, SoCal Chamber Music Workshop, Friends University Choirs, and Santa Clara University Orchestra. Los Positas College Orchestra, Carol Lisek, Dawn Padula, and various other artists, and pianists: Tatiana Thibodeaux, Emily Tian, Ellen Wassermann, and Teresa McCollough.

La Barre is the Founder and Director of the Eureka! Musical Minds of California Graduate Conference. This nationally recognized multidisciplinary initiative aims to create an unprecedented environment that showcases the diverse work created in the state of California. The 2019 meeting of Eureka! will be announced late October 2018.

Commissions, honors, and fellowships include: American Composers Forum Los Angeles 2014 Composition Competition Winner, Composer-in-Residence for the Southern California Chamber Music Workshop, Society of Composers Inc. National Conference Presenter, Oregon Bach Festival Composition Symposium Fellow, Society of Composers Inc. Region VII Conference Presenter, Society of Composers Inc. Region VI Conference Presenter, C.E. and Bertha Harsh Memorial Fellow, David and Emily Umemoto Memorial Scholarship Recipient, and Glenn Glasow Memorial Fellow. 

In 2012, La Barre was awarded the 800th Anniversary of Saint Clare of Assisi Commission that resulted in the global simulcast of the premiere of Correspondence for chamber orchestra and vocal soloists. 

In 2017, La Barre was commissioned by the Savage Dance Company that resulted in the concert-length multidisciplinary work, Sketches of Oakland. In collaboration with founder and Artistic Director, Reginald Ray- Savage, Sketches of Oakland, Sketches of Oakland was performed live by lead musicians solo contemporary pianist Emily Tian, and violinist/violist Justin Ouellet, plus a collaboration with visual artist Kaya Fortune, and the bold signature style of Savage Jazz Dance Company. Savage Jazz Dance Company pays tribute to The Town. Brought to life and developed in Oakland and containing the same intensity, creativity and diversity of life experiences that only a city like Oakland can provide, Sketches of Oakland paints a portrait of what it is to not only be human but truly be alive in The Town.

As a conductor, La Barre has directed such orchestras as the USC Thornton Symphony, Santa Clara University Orchestra, and Hollywood Symphony Orchestra.

In 2017, La Barre was awarded Kappa Alpha Theta’s “Leading Women: 35 Under 35 Award”. La Barre is currently a D.M.A, ABD at Claremont Graduate University. She received her M.A. in composition from California State University, East Bay under the mentorship of Frank La Rocca. Her mentors include Spencer Chan (jazz piano) and Ellie Duste (oboe/English horn). 

In 2018, her works will be performed at festivals, recitals, and conferences in: Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Wichita, Tacoma, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Alabama, Claremont, Pasadena, Eugene, and various cities in Europe. 

Begin Anywhere
— John Cage


Leslie La Barre © 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

All materials on this website (unless otherwise indicated and including photographs) are Copyright © Leslie La Barre 2007-2018. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction, use, or distribution of media featured on this site is prohibited.

Leslie La Barre © 2018