“To play as powerfully, as sensitively and as flawlessly as flutist Leslie Newman did…is to write the book on stamina and musical excellence. Bottom line: one of the highlights of the season.” This is how critics have described Leslie who, since her Toronto Symphony Orchestra debut at the age of eighteen, performing Carl Nielsen’s formidable Flute Concerto under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, has developed a loyal audience with her lyricism, technical command and musical integrity.
Leslie is the principal flute with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, a post she has held since 2008. As guest principal flute, she has played with the Hallé Orchestra under Kent Nagano, the Bournemouth Symphony, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet Orchestra and Esprit. She has toured through Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Europe and the U.S. with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
As soloist, Leslie has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Toronto and the Montreal Chamber Orchestra. She has presented recitals across the UK, with numerous BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, including two live recital broadcasts from the world-famous Wigmore Hall, and throughout Canada, including Jeunesses Musicales and Debut Atlantic tours and numerous national and regional CBC broadcasts. Other notable recital engagements include at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, Taipei’s National Concert Hall and the National Museum in Bogotá, Colombia. Festival appearances include Banff, Belle-Ile (France), Bogotá, Salzburg, Sorrento, Sweetwater, the Stratford International Flute Festival (UK), Ottawa’s Chamberfest and the Oregon Bach Festival.
Leslie’s debut CD, Beyond the Iron Curtain, released by CALA/United, was described by Gramophone Magazine as an “…immensely worthwhile contribution to the catalogue.” Her second solo CD, Opera Fantaisie, was described as “…faultless, perhaps even definitive readings of repertoire from the ‘golden age of the flute” (Wholenote Magazine).
At the age of seventeen, Leslie won First Prize in the Canadian National Competitive Festival of Music. Following the completion of her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Toronto, where she studied with Douglas Stewart, she was awarded a Canada Council Grant to study with the legendary Thomas Nyfenger at Yale University. While still a student at Yale, Leslie won Top Prize in the woodwind category of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s National Young Performers’ Competition. Upon completion of her Master’s degree at Yale University, where she was named Outstanding Performance Major, Leslie moved to New York where she continued her studies with Julius Baker at the renowned Juilliard School.
Leslie lives in Toronto and teaches at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.