Violist. Composer. Teacher.

A looping/sampling specialist, 

creating multilayered viola music with a soulful edge, 

mixing modern classical and the blues 

with a middle eastern flavor. 


Leanne Darling

'Spiral' is the title track to my debut album. It is inspired by funk and hiphop as well as a bit of jazz. Enjoy!

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Leanne Darling

'Beth' is a part of a series of songs called 'Identities' which are loosely autobiographical. Each features a different personality or driving emotion. 'Beth' is edgy, nervous, jazzy and playful, before being enveloped in a sea of harmony.

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    Beth 3:04


Violist Leanne Darling reaches across many genres to create a powerful new voice for the viola. Specializing in Classical Arabic music as well as Jazz and European Classical music, she combines styles to create repertoire for solo viola and loops generating layers of sound that simulates a whole room full of musicians. Leanne creates textures, melodies and rhythms both planned  and improvised in styles that encompass minimalism, ambient, jazz, avant-garde, blues, and Arabic music. The result is a multi-dimensional viola experience! 

During her time as a freelancer in New York City she collaborated with oud virtuoso Simon Shaheen in Carnegie Hall, with poets Robert Bly and Clarissa Pinkola-Estes at the Omega Institute, and with the Cedar Lake Ensemble's premiere performance in Chelsea. 

As a composer, Ms. Darling’s work earned many Meet the Composer grants and earned her the New York Innovative Theater Award for best original music in 2007. Her arrangement Isma’a based on Arabic themes for middle school string orchestra published by Hal Leonard is performed by schools nationwide. 

Leanne holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Cleveland Institute of Music and has held principal and assistant principal positions in the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, and the New Artists Piano Quartet. 

Leanne currently teaches viola and chamber music at the University at Buffalo, plays in the Slee Sinfonietta, and leads improvisation workshops in the Buffalo area.

Violist Darling stole the show…”

— Gay City News

Few violists have dared to climb out of the classical box to investigate their instrument in new ways. Leanne Darling’s brave and dedicated explorations into improvisation, Arabic music, and composition distinguish her as one of the leaders in her field.” - Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Improvising Violinist, Pedagogue, and Author