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-Love for Japan, appeared with tap dancing virtuoso, Savion Glover, at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, songwriter, Sufjan Stevens, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and 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. This season the ensemble will release an album of selected instrumental chamber rock pieces by Frank Zappa on 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 Avante Garde” series. She has collaborated with numerous other artists from a vast range of media, including songwriters, Fran Healy (lead singer of Travis), 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, 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 Cuneiform, E1, Rough Trade, and for the soundtracks of the PBS documentary, No Job for a Woman (2011), and feature 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, 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 and David Wells and her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a student of David Geber. A dedicated teaching artist, Leigh is on the cello faculty of the Diller-Quaile School.