LESLIE LA BARRE is a California-based composer and conductor 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. As a conductor, La Barre has directed such orchestras as the USC Thornton Symphony, Santa Clara University Orchestra, and Hollywood Symphony Orchestra.

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 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 take place at California State University, East Bay. Eureka! is please to announce as the 2019 conference keynote, Dr. Gabriela Lena Frank.

Commissions, honors, and fellowships include: California State University, East Bay’s 40 Under 40 Alumni Award, Kappa Alpha Theta’s 2017 Leading Women: 35 Under 35 Award, 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 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.

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. 

La Barre earned her doctorate degree in composition from Claremont Graduate University and holds a Master of Arts 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 2019, 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 © 2015–2019

All materials on this website (unless otherwise indicated and including photographs) are Copyright © Leslie La Barre 2007-2019. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction, use, or distribution of media featured on this site is prohibited.

Leslie La Barre © 2018