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Artist of the Month - September 2004

Leslie Tomkins - Artistic Director of
Moab Music Festival

Leslie Tomkins

When Leslie Tomkins co-founded the Moab Music Festival with her husband, Michael Barrett in 1992, she was reaching in yet another new direction. As a child she played piano, violin and then finally settled on the viola.
Leslie studied at the San Francisco Conservatory and Mannes College of Music, and then, like many musicians, she did her time playing on street corners - including in nearby Aspen, Colorado. Leslie tends to play in ensembles rather than go solo, but if you have ever heard her perform alone, you can hear the soulfulness - and the playfulness - in her musical touch.

Leslie has appeared with many of America’s fine orchestras including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic, and Stamford Symphony. An avid chamber musician, she is a member of the Musical Arts ensemble and a guest artist with Music from Copland House chamber ensemble. Music is her life, but she is also a full-time mom to the irrepressible Emma Barrett, age “eight and three quarters.”

Leslie’s intriguing life both in the east and the west is exciting and busy. She spends about 2 and a half months in Moab every year enjoying the different atmosphere and working on the music festival. In addition to her musical (and administrative) skills, Leslie spends time honing her athletic skills as well. She recently competed in her first biathalon. She biked and ran 22 miles and finished second in her age group..out of two!

Those who break through her natural shyness discover her wonderful, wicked sense of humor, and everyone in Moab appreciates her dedication to the Moab Music Festival, for which she is Artistic Director, set designer, newsletter writer, fund raiser, website mistress, spiritual guru, and mother-hen.

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