© Robert Provencher
Mélanie Léonard, born in Montréal and raised in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, is the Music Director of Symphony New Brunswick and the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her appointment in Sudbury, she held the positions of resident conductor (2009-2012) and associate conductor (2012-2013) with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
She guest conducted at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and with several Canadian Orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, I Musici, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Niagara Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil. Mrs. Léonard is a sought after studio recording conductor. She lead the orchestra and choir in the studio recording of the music for Aura (music by Gabriel Thibaudeau et Marc Bell), a multidisciplinary show produced by Moment Factory and presented at the Montreal Notre-Dame Basilica. She recorded soundtracks for movies, multimedia projects, and more recently for Paradise City, an immersive environment in a South Korean Hotel complex.
She worked with renowned artists such as Herbie Hancock, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Shauna Rolston and actors John Rhys Davies (Lord of the Rings) , Garrett Want (Star Trek) and John de Lancie (Star Trek).
In 2014, she founded the Wild West New Music Ensemble in Calgary, for which she was Music Director and Conductor (2014-2016). During the same year, she co-founded the Calgary New Music Festival and served as its Artistic Director until 2016. She was also the music director of Vaudreuil-Soulanges choir. Maestra Léonard was music collaborator for La Croisée des Cheminson ICI Radio-Canada Première Calgary from 2013 to 2016 and in 2017, Orford Music invited her to give a conference about artistic leadership (Finding human connection in a virtually connected society). In 2018-2019, she was adjudicator for Festival et concours de musique classique de Lanaudière and Festival des harmonies et orchestres symphoniques du Québec.
In 2019-2020, she made her debut with Les Violons du Roy and Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra. She was to maker her debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke . She also had return engagements with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Thunder Bay Symphony and Symphony New Brunswick. Several of these concerts were rescheduled to an upcoming season due to the global pandemic.
Mélanie Léonard completed her Doctorate in orchestral conducting at Université de Montréal under Maestri Paolo Bellomia and Jean-François Rivest. She holds a bachelor degree in Music Theory from the same university. She received her Masters of Music in Orchestra Conducting from the Hartt School of Music (Hartford, Connecticut), where she studied with Maestro Christopher Zimmerman. In 2012, she received the Jean-Marie Beaudet prize in orchestral conducting, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.