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Dr. Lelia Sadlier

Lelia Molthrop Sadlier, Artistic Director of Music Across the Pond, has won national awards as both a composer and pianist. Trained at the top conservatories in both disciplines, she brings the unique perspective of interpreter turned creator.  A proponent of new music, Lelia has premiered dozens of pieces by both established and up-and-coming composers. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Lelia holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where she studied piano with Nelita True, and composition with Samuel Adler and Warren Bensen. She was awarded a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School where she studied piano with Grammy award winning pianist, Emanuel Ax and composition with Stanley Wolfe.  Lelia completed the Doctor of Music degree in Piano Performance at The Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where she worked with Edmund Battersby and Leonard Hokanson.


Lelia is active as both a soloist and chamber musician and has been praised for her “fluid legato and singing tone.”  She has been featured in recitals at the Church of St. Martin in the Fields (London), the 92nd Street Y and Steinway Hall in New York, and a recital for former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in Austria.  Recent performances include appearances at Teatro Principal (Puebla, Mexico), the Schumann-Haus (Zwickau, Germany), the Accademia Europea dell’Opera (Lucca, Italy), Boteringe Suite (Gronigen, Holland), St. Anne’s Recital Series (Oxford University), the chamber music series at the Parish Church (Falmouth, Cornwall), the Interlochen Arts Academy, and numerous appearances throughout Texas and the South including the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, The University of Texas San Antonio, Texas Tech, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and Baylor University.  In addition, Lelia has appeared as concerto soloist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, the New Orleans Civic Symphony Orchestra, and performed the Gerald Finzi “Eclogue” for the Finzi Centenary at Indiana University with the composer’s son, conductor Christopher Finzi, in attendance.  Lelia was previously the Director of Keyboard Studies at Christopher Newport University.


An active vocal collaborator, Lelia has worked with some of the greatest voice teachers and performers in the world including Giorgio Tozzi, Rita Shane, John Maloy, Timothy Noble, Marcia Baldwin, Andreas Poulimenos, and Philip Frohnmayer.  She performs regularly with her husband, tenor, David Sadlier.”


As a composer, Lelia began her studies at the age of seven.  Soon thereafter she won both first and third prize at the Music Teacher’s National Association Composition Competition and was the youngest-ever composer to study with Leonard Bernstein at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute (1987).  Her piece for solo flute, “Three Fragments of a Crystal Ball”, was featured on an American Music Week program in Vienna, Austria and performed by the legendary principal flautist of the Vienna Philharmonic, Wolfgang Schulz.  She is also an ASCAP Young Composer’s Competition Finalist. After a fifteen-year hiatus, Lelia returned to her compositional roots with a standing ovation for the world premiere of her mini one-man opera, The Mountain Whippoorwill in Falmouth, England. With demand for her choral music mounting, she completed ten choral pieces in 2016 and acted as Composer in Residence and pianist for the McAllen Independent School District.  Lelia’s works are published by Polymnia. 


Lelia’s further accomplishments include garnering the coveted Chancellor’s Fellowship at IU, articles published in Music Teacher Magazine, the distinction of youngest student on the USA Today All-Academic Team (1988), an international audition winner of the TCU/Cliburn Institute, a feature article in Seventeen magazine, and an appearance on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.  Lelia lives in McAllen, Texas and teaches music with PSJA ISD/South Texas College.

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