“Leslie Uyeda is a composer with that rare combination of clear-eyed intelligence and deeply-felt emotion. Although her music can be demanding it is always rewarding because its intention is purely musical, never just for effect. I love to play Leslie’s music because it engages my head, heart and hands equally. Even her instrumental music sings!”
I began coaching and performing with singers in my teens and began conducting them in operas soon after I got my B Mus at the University of Manitoba. During 20 years in opera, I worked as a coach, pianist and conductor with the Canadian Opera Company, L’Opera de Montreal, Vancouver Opera, Manitoba Opera, Opera Hamilton, the Banff Centre and the Chautauqua Institute of Music in New York. In concert I have collaborated with some of Canada’s best singers, performing recitals with Tracy Dahl, Richard Margison, Brett Polegato, Wendy Neilsen, Heather Pawsey, Liping Zhang, Jean Stilwell and Viviane Houle.
I love writing for singers. I understand how the voice works, I love where it can take us and I revel in the singer’s vocal and emotional palette. For two years I worked in Manhattan with some of the best voice teachers – and therefore some of the best singers – in the world. During the second phase of my opera career I specialized in working with younger singers just breaking into the profession. So when I began composing twenty-five years ago, there was just no other choice for me than to write for these very special artists.
I have also had the pleasure of composing for choirs, occasional instrumental ensembles and of premiering two chamber operas. I hope you will enjoy browsing through my work and perhaps choosing to perform something that speaks to you.