Leader of the Orchestra
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 Frømyhr and moved to Canberra in 1997. Since then, Bear has enjoyed playing in several Australian orchestras and chamber music ensembles. Some memorable performances: with Pereira/Australian String Quartet for the Leigh Warren and Dancers Quiver tour 1998; performing and tutoring at Mt Buller Chamber Music School 2003, National Music Camp, Taabinga chamber music schools and festivals, and 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 is core player, since 2000). While still a student, became a tutor at the University of QLD in harmony/counterpoint, aural; and until 2012 at Australian National University as director of the Contemporary Ensemble. As Concertmaster of ensembles varying from the contemporary Opera Orchestra in Brisbane, to the Canberra Bach Ensemble from 2016 to the present.
Growing up in a household with Bach fanatic parents means that Bach’s music is second nature to Leanne and has fostered her life‐long love of early music. As a student, she studied alongside Jamie Hey (from Australian Brandenburg Ensemble) and other early music players in Amsterdam. She has also been fortunate enough to meet/workshop with early music specialists: Sigiswald Kuijken, and Reinhard Goebel from Musica Antiqua Köln.
Along with the ubiquitous Fluffy Purple Violin, 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 ‐ new composed works for piano, piano sextet, and cello ensemble, featuring her now established style of extended early 20th century tonality. In 2013 Bear premiered solo, duo, and improvised mixed media violin works, and the large‐scale string quartet Neon Romantic. Most recently: 2015: Postcards to Hungary piano trio commissioned by and performed in Budapest, and Kecskemet. Fezek Music Club and Liszt Academy. 2015: Märchen aus dem Wienerwald for salon orchestra, Bruckner Hall, Linz with Johann Strauss Ensemble. 2016: Auvergne for cello and piano commissioned and performed, Auvergne, France. Australian premiere with David Pereira and Edward Neeman. In 2017 Bear conducted the premiere of her Pastorale suite for strings, Brindabella Christian College. Highlighting 2018 was the CSO commission‐ their recital series featuring Bernadette Harvey (piano) and Julian Smiles (cello) premiering her Art Nouveau; and reviewed in City News “…It is the work of a major composer….who is making Australian history”. Bear is currently composing new work for Plexus trio to be performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre in June 2019.
Marriage, 3 children, and a property in the Yass Valley (near Canberra) seems to be a vibrant environment for this versatile artist’s forest of inspiration.