Composer LEAHA MARIA VILLARREAL brings a contemporary focus to classical music. With works described as "visceral" (Lucid Culture), "propulsive" (Bachtrack) and "austere" (New Music Box), her output includes music for dance, film, opera, and the concert hall.
Villarreal has worked with organizations and ensembles such as ETHEL and Friends concert series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wild Rumpus, JACK Quartet, Experiments in Opera, W4, Ear Heart Music, Boston New Music Initiative, BODYART, The Box is Empty, and PUBLIQuartet. Past composition teachers include Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Reynolds, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung. Villarreal holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and studied at New York University with Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon. She is a co-founder and the artistic director of the New York-based contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant; a Teaching Artist Associate for the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Bridge Program; and a 2015-16 Composer in Residence with the ConEdison Exploring the Metropolis initiative. Originally from Los Angeles, Leaha lives and works in New York City.