Leslie Holmes, soprano/pianist, is a graduate of Wellesley College and is well known in the area for her numerous solo appearances, as well as for her radio program of eleven years on Classical Radio Boston, WCRB, 102.5 FM. A regional finalist in the Met Auditions, she has been soloist with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Wellesley Symphony, the Opera Company of Boston, the Chorus Pro Musica, the M.I.T. Choral Society, the Wellesley Choral Society, and the Wellesley College Choir, at Castle Hill and at Hammond Castle. Ms. Holmes has presented solo recitals at the Gardner Museum, Great Woods, the Boston Public Library, the French Library, the Longy School of Music, the Boston Conservatory, Wellesley College, Northeastern University, and throughout the East, Europe and in Cuba. Leslie Holmes has been heard on National Public Radio on A Note to You with Roland Nadeau and Music America with Ron Della Chiesa.
Leslie Holmes is a strong proponent of the French Art Song as well as French poetry. Her recitals at the French Library, Wellesley College, Northeastern University, and for numerous organizations have included entire programs devoted to Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, and the poetry of Paul Verlaine as set by various composers.
A champion of women's music, Ms. Holmes has presented many recitals of music by women composers, throughout New England, in Europe, and in Alaska. She has sung programs, presented lectures, and participated in conferences devoted to the music of Amy Cheney Beach. She has also given many lecture/recitals of other women composers, contemporary and historical.
Ms. Holmes also performs the so-called "classical popular composers," i.e. Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, and others. She has performed tribute programs on several of these composers at Great Woods, The Boston Public Library, The Newton Free Library, and The Blacksmith House in Cambridge. She has presented her ever popular Cabaret Français on the Court Street Chamber Music Series in Hingham, at the Harvard Club, at the French House at Wellesley College, at the French Library and Cultural Center, at Bard College, at Brandeis Universit and at the Providence Athenaeum, to name a few. She has also performed a program of songs about Paris composed by American Composers for the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association at their Annual Conference. She and pianist William Merrill are planning a CD of French cabaret for Northeastern University.
Leslie Holmes has given a lecture/recital, The History of Cabaret, on a national workshop given by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has presented hour-long shows on WMBR in Cambridge on The Origins of Cabaret, Kurt Weill: From Berlin to Broadway, and Lotte Lenya: A Centennial Tribute. She has also given lecture/recitals on The Origins of French Cabaret at the French Library and Cultural Center in Boston and for Albany public radio.
Leslie Holmes is also active as a teacher and writer. As past New England Regional Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), she maintains a private studio and teaches group voice at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She has given many Masterclasses, most recently for the Western Massachusetts Chapter of NATS. She writes a regular column called "The Vocal Point" for the new magazine Signature on women in music and for the NATS Journal of Singing. Leslie also has lectured on career choices and making a career in the arts for the Business Women's Network and at the Harvard Divinity School, Wellesley College and Regis College. She has given many pre-concert lectures for musical organizations, including the Boston Chorus Pro Musica, the Stow Chorus, and the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra and has provided narration for the Boston Civic Symphony, the Treble Chorus of New England, the Chorus Pro Musica, and the Wellesley Symphony. She currently serves as President of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, is on the Board of Boston Singers Resource, is Host of the Cabaret Open Mic at the Amazing Things Arts Center, and is on the Advisory Board of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists and the Maud Powell Society.