Leaha Maria Villarreal, Composer


Leaha Maria Villarreal is a composer, scholar, and cultural worker. She started her artistic life as a singer and a pianist, which moved her from her childhood interests into composition. Her work has been hailed as "visceral" (LucidCulture), "propulsive" (Bachtrack), and "austere"(New Music Box) with features in ApricityMagazine, Voyage LA, and I Care If You Listen.


She has worked with organizations and ensembles such as Beth Morrison Projects and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Heidi DucklerDance via the LA Opera's Eurydice FoundFestival; and the ETHEL and Friends concert series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work has been presented by Young ConcertArtists and the Wende Museum with performances at National Sawdust, DetroitInstitute of Art, Roulette, Le Poisson Rouge, and monospace, to name a few.


Villarreal holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.M. from New York University where she studied with Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon. In addition to residencies at Banff Centre, Hambidge Center, Fresh Inc Festival, and Exploring the Metropolis, Villarreal has taught composition with New YorkPhilharmonic's Very Young Composers BridgeProgram and partnered with USC Thornton'sCommunity Engagement Program. She is currently pursuing a D.M.A. at the University of southern California focusing on composition, music teaching and learning, and arts leadership.