Anne LeBaron, Composer admired West Coast experimentalist, who is an innovative performer on the harp as well as an unusually inventive composer.
— The New Yorker
Photo: Jim Graham

A West Coast experimentalist who is an innovative performer on the harp as well as a composer embracing unusual challenges, Anne LeBaron’s compositions have been performed around the globe. Venues in Italy, Mexico, Sydney, Vienna, Sweden, Kazakhstan, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere have programmed her works for chamber groups, opera, cantatas, and presented her as a performer. Her operas celebrate legendary figures such as Pope Joan, Eurydice, Marie Laveau, the American Housewife, and Aldous Huxley. Her current opera-in-progress, Huxley’s Last Trip, (formerly LSD: The Opera) was awarded one of the first Discovery Grants from Opera America. The orchestra includes instruments built by American composer and inventor Harry Partch. Excerpts have been performed at three LA venues: at the Wallis Annenberg Theater in Beverly Hills, at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, and at the REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles.

LeBaron was recently awarded a Copland House Residency in New York, a Djerassi Program residency in Santa Cruz, and a residency at the Corporation of Yaddo in Saratoga Springs. Radiant Depth Unfolded: Settings of Rumi, commissioned by The Sorel Organization and SongFest, premiered in Zipper Hall at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Library Foundation commissioned her to compose a new work inspired by the Oxford English Dictionary: A – Zythum premiered at the Hammer Museum. Mark Robson performed her work for speaking pianist, Los Murmullos on the highly regarded PianoSpheres, and more recently at the American Center in Paris. The acclaimed French harpist Helene Breschand performed her work Harpestra: Concerto for Two Harps, One Player.

Current projects include a new installment for The Well-Read Clavier for pianist Lorezo Marasso based on writings by Beppe Fenoglio and commissioned by the Ferrero Foundation. The Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa has awarded her an artist residency in 2018 for her the development of her Fenoglio piece. A new opera, This Lingering Life,will blend and update five ancient Noh dramas to convey their universal and timely relevance. In the fall of 2017, she will be the featured international artist and keynote speaker at the Totally Huge New Music Festival in Perth, Australia, with additional performances and appearances in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Recordings of her music are available on Mode, New World Records, Ear- Rational, Innova, Music and Art, and Albany. As a member of the School of Music faculty at CalArts, she has developed highly original courses blending theater, art history, cultural topics, and music while encouraging students to actively create work incorporating what they are absorbing. These include HyperOpera; Concert Theater; Musical Reflections of Surrealism; Music of Harry Partch; Contemplative Practices, Musical Arts, Compassionate Mind; and Writing for Everything Else.

LeBaron serves on the boards of the American Composers Forum, where she is Vice-Chair, and the Corporation of Yaddo. Also an accomplished harpist, she is renowned for pioneering methods of extended harp techniques, electronic enhancements, and notation in compositional and improvisational contexts. In the current season, she lectured on her music at the University of California Irvine, the University of Southern California, the University of California Los Angeles, and Cal State Fullerton. For the past two years, she led a master class for composition students visiting LA from Shanghai, under the auspices of the Bright Institute.