Lydia de Leeuw (dee LAY-yoo) is a cellist, educator, and avid lover of how sound interacts with trees. She currently teaches in the Troy School District as a 5th-grade orchestra teacher, in the Crescendo Detroit program as a string instructor, and in her private cello studio in Ann Arbor/Madison Heights. Her passion for teaching music came from her home town of Poughkeepsie, NY where she mentored with the Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley. In her studies at the University of Michigan she worked with the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra and Crescendo Detroit program while completing fieldwork in Ann Arbor and Saline public schools. She studied extensively with her mentors Dr. Michael Hopkins, Dr. Colleen Conway, Professor Anthony Elliott, Jonathan Glawe, and Ben Culver through her studies in music education.
As a performer, Lydia is dedicated to innovation, improvisation, and imagination. Raised as a classical musician, her interest in playing new and improvised creative music started at the University of Michigan while working with Mark Kirschenmann and Ed Sarath. While still dedicated to the history of cello playing in traditional contexts, you will more often find Lydia performing freely improvised music in a community space than performing Beethoven in a concert hall. Lydia has premiered many new works, involving many collaborations with composers and performances in diverse venues ranging from local bars to concert halls. Her improvisation ensemble BRIGE aims to explore new and innovative ways to bring improvised music to local communities. Their past performances have included free improvisation, structured improvisation suites, live scored improvisation during storytelling, and a production re-imagining a Broadway classic. Her current solo project is dedicated to social commentary through exploring improvised cello and electronics. She also performs as a member of the free improvisation ensemble Polyglot, a quartet of improvisors with diverse backgrounds who meet on the common ground of spontaneity.
Lydia's ideal week looks like finding innovated and effective ways to help students grow through learning music, playing creative music with others to build strong community, exploring places with trees, and relaxing with those she loves. She aims to teach with the creativity she brings to the cello and perform with the tenacity of her teaching.
Some cool places Lydia has played music:
The hills of Port Milford, Ontario (MPM)
Bardavon Opera House
By the lake she grew up near
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Alice Tully Hall
A friend's basement
Bathrooms of hotels
St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne
The living room at 412 N Thayer