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Book a Lesson with Leigh Stuart
Leigh Stuart is a versatile cellist who thrives on performing music from a wide range of styles and genres. She has toured the U.S. extensively as a chamber musician, performing in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Deer Valley Music Festival, the Library of Congress, the Lied Center of Kansas, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and countless others. She has recorded with Makoto Ozone and Paquito D’Rivera for the album Live and Let Live: Lovefor Japan, appeared with tap dancing virtuoso, Savion Glover, at the Spoleto Festival in Italy; with songwriter Sufjan Stevens at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; and with Jay-Z, Beyonce, and The Roots at Radio City Music Hall.
Leigh is a founding member of the boundary-breaking new music group, Fireworks Ensemble, described as “adventurous and ahead of the curve” by the Washington Post and “musically fearless” by Time-Out New York. With Fireworks Ensemble, Leigh has premiered over one hundred new works by emerging and established composers, including a recent commission by Pulitzer-prize winning composer, David Del Tredici. The ensemble has recorded three soon-to-be-released albums for E1 (formerly Koch Classics).
As a member of the Brooklyn-based acoustic/ambient ensemble Bing and Ruth, Leigh has recently performed for the Wordless Music Festival, the MATA Festival, and the Darmstadt “Classics of the Avant-Garde” series. She performs regularly at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall with the Chamber Orchestra of New York, and has collaborated with numerous other artists from a vast range of media, including songwriters Fran Healy (lead singer of Travis), Erin Hill and her Psychedelic Harp, Lia Ices, Marty Wilson Piper (lead singer of The Church), and Shara Worden (lead singer of My Brightest Diamond), progressive rock band The Mahavishnu Project, experimental electronic music duo Matmos, Brooklyn-based indie band Oneida, multi-media dance company Troika Ranch, and choreographer Yoshiko Chuma (The School of Hard Knocks).
Recently, Leigh has recorded for RVNG Intl., Cuneiform, E1, Rough Trade, and for TV and film soundtracks such as the PBS documentary No Job for a Woman (2011) and the films Festival of Lights (2010) and Heterosexuals (2010). She also recorded Faure’s Elegy for an episode of the internationally broadcasted show Law and Order: SVU and has since appeared as a cellist in dramas on CBS and NBC, in a music video for British pop star Lucie Silvas, and in the Warner Brothers film August Rush.
Originally from southwestern Connecticut, Leigh began her cello studies at the age of nine. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Hartt School as a student of Steven Thomas, David Wells, and David Finckel, and her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a student of David Geber. In addition, she has recently attended the New York Jazz Academy, the Mark O'Connor Workshop for Strings at the Berklee School of Music, and currently studies jazz and improvisation with pianist Joanne Brackeen. A dedicated teaching artist, Leigh received her Suzuki certification from The School for Strings, has taught cello and chamber music at The Harlem School for the Arts, The Hotchkiss School, Montclair State University, Third Street Music School Settlement, and is currently on the cello faculty of the Diller-Quaile School in Manhattan, New York.
For fifteen years I have been teaching students ranging from toddlers to senior citizens in a variety of settings. I absolutely love that every student is unique, and I am fascinated by the learning process. I look forward to helping others achieve their musical goals while keeping in mind that developing a sense of independence from me is the ultimate goal! With a sensitivity to different learning styles and the importance of feeling safe and comfortable in an educational setting, I am relaxed, patient, friendly, and direct. While I am a certified Suzuki teacher, I am at home with traditional teaching methods, and in addition to classical cello, I also teach beginning improvisation and extended technique (contemporary classical).