Stuart Leitch

Stuart Leitch, a pianist from Michigan, studied at Oberlin College, Valparaiso University, and with several private teachers in Chicago. 

From 1962 to 1965 he was a member of the ONCE ensemble in Ann Arbor, an influential group led by Robert Ashley and Gordon Mumma, with guest appearances by national and international leaders of the musical avant-garde, including John Cage, Morton Feldman and Luigi Nono. Also participating were innovative figures in cinema and dance, including Robert Rauschenberg and the Judson Dance Theater. 

In New York from 1965 to 1970 he transcribed books of country blues in collaboration with the guitarist Stefan Grossman. He also worked with a rock band, Children of Paradise, touring, recording, and creating music for Brian De Palma’s early film Hi, Mom! 

After a summer at Tanglewood he moved to the Chicago area to work in opera, coaching singers privately and accompanying rehearsals for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Opera Theater. He founded Chamber Opera Chicago and directed it for three years. 

He was staff accompanist for a year at Northern Illinois University, then shifted his focus to solo piano and chamber music. In Chicago he played in the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, in Schubertiade Chicago, and in broadcasts by WFMT-FM. Some of his best performances were premieres and recordings of music by the great American composer George Flynn. During this time he was also active as a piano teacher, church musician, music copyist and editor. 

In 2012 he returned to Michigan to live near his family and enjoy the calmer lifestyle. He continues performing, recording and teaching.