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NYWC June 2024 Spotlight: Patricia Leonard

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC). This month, we present a piece by Patricia Leonard.

NYWC Spotlight on Patricia Leonard

Bio (adapted from the the New York Composers Circle website):

A Boston native, Patricia Leonard began her musical journey with piano and composition studies at The New England Conservatory, earning a B.Mus. in Composition from The Boston Conservatory. Her early works were performed at notable venues such as Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center, The Longy School, and The Boston Conservatory.

In 1998, Leonard moved to New York to study with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici. Since then, her compositions have been featured in performances at The Stella Adler Theatre, Merkin Hall, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Her piano trio, Strangely Close Yet Distant, inspired by Oskar Kokoschka’s painting The Bride of the Wind, was praised for its “arresting and evocative” harmonies (New York Concert Review).

Leonard’s work often draws inspiration from art and literature, resulting in programmatic pieces that explore psychological themes. She is a founding member of the New York Composers Circle and a Board member of The League of Composers/I.S.C.M.

Featured Work: Strangely Close Yet Distant for viola, cello, and piano


  • Title: Strangely Close Yet Distant
  • Composer: Patricia Leonard
  • Year of Composition: 2003
  • Instrumentation: viola, cello and piano
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 12’
  • Number of Measures: 238
  • Number of pages: 27
  • Tempo: various
  • Difficulty Level: technically intermediate to advanced; musically advanced/professional
  • Highest Position Reached: 5th position
  • Techniques Employed: pizzicato and snap pizzicato; col legno, glissando, tremolo; 4/4, 2/4, 3/4, and 5/4 time signatures; bass and tenor clefs
  • Publisher: ASCAP
  • Where to Purchase the Score: Email the composer
  • Cost of Score*: $25


Performance Notes

“Play Alma’s and Oskar’s theme with the psychology indicated in score; play Mahler’s theme with growing clarity and resolve as his presence becomes more clear with each section.” – Patricia Leonard

Program Notes

“This piece is inspired by the love affair between Alma Mahler and painter Oskar Kokoschka; even though Alma’s husband, the great composer Gustav Maher, is dead, his music always comes between the two lovers, preventing a real intimacy. The opening motif of Mahler’s 9th symphony is used as bridging material to keep Alma’s and Oskar’s themes apart.” – Patricia Leonard


A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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