Leslie Hogan

Leslie Hogan

Photo: Harmony Agh.

Based in Santa Barbara, CA
Website: lesliehogancomposer.com

“My music manifests my longtime fascination with other art forms and with the potential of music to reflect or respond to visual stimuli from the natural world. In recent years, I’ve been drawn most strongly to light: the shimmer of morning sun on the ocean, the flatter luminosity of moonlight on a lake, the green tinged light that filters through leaves to the forest floor, starlight and meteor showers. There are particular kinds of light—not necessarily welcome, but still beautiful—that come with tornados, thunderstorms, and wildfires. There is music in all of it.


Composer Leslie A. Hogan received her principal composition training at the University of Kansas and the University of Michigan. Her music often manifests her longtime fascination with other art forms and with the potential of music to reflect or respond to visual stimuli from the natural world, whether the wilderness of the back-country or that of the backyard. The concept of landscape, to her, encompasses not only the natural world, but the built environment. She has written music about light (A Little Light on the Water), weather (Cool Front), art and architecture (Fleeting, Matisse, and Graffiti) and interstate highways (Thirty-five).

In 1999 she co-founded Current Sounds, a new music consortium based in Santa Barbara, California. She served on the board of the Chamber Music Society of Santa Barbara, an organization that promotes the performance and appreciation of chamber music repertory through sponsoring workshops, concerts, and outreach activities, from 1999-2013. Currently, she is Vice President of the board for the Santa Barbara Music Club. Among the choreographers she has collaborated with are Valerie Huston, Tonia Shimin, and Carol Press. Commissioning organizations and individuals include the San Antonio Choral Society, the Ojai Camerata, First United Methodist Church of Lawrence, Kansas, Paul Haar, Denise Fest, and Virginia Kron. She has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Charles Ives Fellowship, 2002; Charles Ives Scholarship, 1993), the American Music Center, ASCAP, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra, among others.

Dr. Hogan has taught composition in the College of Creative Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara since 1995.

Work Samples

Cool Front (2017). Virginia Kron, cello and Leslie Hogan, piano. May 20, 2017, Santa Barbara, CA.

“In Oklahoma and Texas, where I grew up, a cool front is a tempering of sometimes extreme heat by a change in the weather that might or might not result in rain. If some parts of this piece are elegiac, it is that the sky that inspired it—the particular cool front—was viewed from a San Antonio, Texas hospital room the fall my mom died.”

Thirty-Five (2000) for violin, cello, and 2 marimbas. Written for the Robin Cox Ensemble. Recorded on LEVEL 7, by the Robin Cox Ensemble. Released in 2002; available here.

“Thirty-Five was inspired by a stretch of interstate highway between Dallas and Waco, Texas.”

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