Featured Composer: Leanne Bear
Composer and violinist Leanne Bear graduated from the University of Queensland and travelled on scholarship around Europe with violin and purple suit, performing her avant-garde violin works, and learning from acclaimed teachers. Back in Australia, she married Tor Fromyhr & moved to Canberra in 1997. She has performed with Pereira/Australian String Quartet for the Leigh Warren and Dancers “Quiver” tour 1998, performed and tutored at Mt Buller Chamber Music School and National Music Camp 2003, Taabinga Chamber Music Schools and Festivals, and most recently conductor at Coffs Harbour String School, 2015. In 1999 Leanne played solo violin in Andrew Ford’s “Furry Dance” with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, where she currently plays. While still a student, Leanne became a tutor at the University of Queensland in harmony/counterpoint, and aural studies, and until 2012 was director of Contemporary Ensemble at Australian National University.
Along with the ubiquitous Fluffy Purple Violin, composing came to the fore, and Bear’s compositions have been showcased in her solo mixed media shows: e.g. “Fluffy Purple Violins” at Canberra Contemporary Art Space; and as an ANU School of Art Visiting Fellow- “INDI” for 2 violins, percussion and landscape soundtrack, 2005. In October 2012, Bear staged, conducted and performed with much acclaim, the full concert “Imaginessence” of her new composed works for piano, piano sextet, and cello ensemble. In 2013 Bear returned to the performance art realm and premiered solo, duo, improvised violin works, and the large scale string quartet “Neon Romantic”.
Bear’s recent pedagogical excursions to Finland, pioneering Géza Szilvay’s “International Minifiddlers” project, has been the catalyst for an exciting European musical connection, including some wonderful inspiration from the eminent composers Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Kurt Schwertsik. In 2014, Leanne and her music toured to London, Vienna, Budapest, Kodály Institute in Kecskémet, Norway and then back to Finland.
Marriage, three children, and a property in the Yass Valley, seems to be a vibrant environment for this versatile artist’s forest of inspiration.