In Thursday’s (8/27) Calgary Herald (Alberta), Bob Clark writes, “Melanie Leonard comes to the Herald interview armed with printed-out answers in English to probable questions. ‘Maybe my vocabulary is not as efficient as in French,’ the 31-year-old Montreal native explains, laughing as she places the folded sheets of paper beside her on the sofa in the Calgary Philharmonic conductor’s suite and waits for the interview to begin. It soon turns out to have been a needless precaution, however, because Leonard’s answers and thoughts on her role as the orchestra’s newly appointed resident conductor are as clearly expressed as they are spoken with feeling, even if it is in her second language–and you quickly become aware it’s all part of why the CPO hired her to oversee its numerous education and outreach activities in the first place. … And did we mention the entrepreneurial spirit it takes to found your own classical ensemble—in this case, Montreal’s Ensemble Prima, a variable-sized chamber group devoted to the performance of 20th- and 21st-century classical music? … She makes her CPO debut at the orchestra’s Sept. 9 season launch, A Taste of the CPO, an enormously popular free event that offers a sampling of what’s in store for lovers of live orchestral music over the next nine months.”

Posted August 27, 2009