“So what do you do?”

“I’m a musician”

“What kind of a musician?”

… and this is where I have to decide whether to go into long explanations, or just leave them guessing…
My college education was pretty diverse… classical flute combined with jazz/pop saxophone, arranging & commercial composition classes, and I spent a few years working as a free-lance musician/arranger, playing flute and saxophone.
The move to Holland came in 1979, where I taught flute and ensembles in a music-school, while following courses at the Muziek Pedagogische Akademie in Leeuwarden. In 1985 I was appointed lecturer in music at the Arnhem Conservatorium, teaching arranging, songwriting and a wide range of jazz theory-related subjects.

Since then, teaching, writing, playing and conducting have remained parallel activities.

In 1992 I started composing for The United Women’s Orchestra, sharing the bandleading with friend and colleague Christina Fuchs. The UWO continued until 2009, producing 3 CDs, and several of my pieces for concert bigband won international awards.

In 2002 I was resident composer at the Omi International Music Residency in New York, USA, following it up as Curator in 2005, also guesting as lecturer at the Harvard & Columbia Universities and giving workshops & performances with the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) in Seattle. In 2006 I was invited as ‘Artist-in-residence’ to the Berklee College of Music in Boston USA.

“Das Geheimnis von Schlabendorf” was composed for the “Paradies 2” project, organised by the IBA (Internationale BauAusstellung) in Germany. and “Songs from the Edge”, a cycle of 8 songs recorded in January 2010 by the German/Dutch quartet “Plots” was released on CD was released in 2012.

In January 2011 The Composers’ Orchestra Berlin kicked off with opening concerts in the Kunstfabrik Schlot in Berlin. I’m MD, but only one of the 25 composers who make up this pool of innovative musicians. Our first CD “Free Range Music” came out in April 2014, preceded by “Spazieren in Berlin” (texts by Franz Hessel) in March 2014. ‘Postcard Collection’ (JHM 258, 2018) featured my music, ‘Vanishing Points’ (JHM 271, 2020) features the music of Dirk Strakhof and our second orchestra CD ‘Holding Pattern’ came out in 2022 (JHM 285)

The symphony “Dona Nobis Pacem” was commissioned by the Luckauer “Musik und Leben” as a joint German/Polish project for young and amateur musicians. Performances in September 2014, followed by perfomances and workshops in Poland, Lithuania and Rumania.

Hazel Leach
Hazel Leach - Credits