Composer, conductor and pianist Leslie Uyeda was born in Montréal and lives in Vancouver. She studied piano with the late Dorothy Morton and William Aide. She has been coach/pianist/conductor/chorus director with the Canadian Opera Company, L’Opéra de Montréal, Manitoba Opera, Edmonton Opera, Opera Hamilton, the Banff Centre, the Chautauqua Institute of Music NY, and Vancouver Opera. She also conducted her own operas Game Misconduct and When the Sun Comes Out. As collaborative pianist Uyeda has performed with Ben Heppner, Tracy Dahl, Richard Margison, Brett Polegato, Liping Zhang, and Heather Pawsey, who has premièred several of Uyeda’s vocal works.
Recent commissions include Je Veux Vivre - an arrangement of Gounod’s aria (Roméo et Juliette) for clarinet and piano; Incantation – a cross-cultural work for two singers and instrumental ensemble, for Astrolabe and the Turning Point Ensemble; Midnight Watch – a song cycle for soprano and piano (poetry by Lorna Crozier), performed by Robyn Driedger-Klassen and Terence Dawson at the Vancouver Symphony New Music Festival in January 2018; three songs for voice and piano for the Regent Park School of Music in Toronto for performance in May 2019.
Leslie Uyeda has composed over forty songs to poetry of Lorna Crozier, including earlier cycles The First Woman, White Cat Blues, and The Sex Lives of Vegetables. Your Breath, My Breath: Dialogue for a Mother and Daughter - an extended poem in the form of a dialogue written specifically for her by Lorna Crozier, will be performed in the Saskatchewan Writers’ Festival in 2019. Uyeda has also composed four song cycles to the poetry of Japanese-Canadian poet Joy Kogawa. Her music is performed throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Leslie Uyeda is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the Canadian League of Composers, the Association of Canadian Women Composers, and Socan. Her music has been published by the Avondale Press, now held within the Canadian Music Centre.
Biography taken from Association of Canadian Women Composers.
Photo: Belle Ancell