Owen Leech is a London-based composer. Following studies with Robert Saxton and Raymond Warren at the University of Bristol and with Kurt Schwertsik at Dartington, he received a Polish government scholarship to work for two years with Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Chopin Academy in Warsaw. His music has been widely performed in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia - and also broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Australia’s ABC Radio National, and WPRB Radio Princeton. He is Composer-in-Residence at the Kodály/Colourstrings-based North London Conservatoire, where he also teaches piano and musicianship and works as a pianist.
Recent commissions have resulted in something of a focus on piano and string chamber music, including a very productive association with the Schubert Ensemble, for whom he has written a number of works, including a widely acclaimed piano quartet which was performed at the 2002 Cheltenham International Music Festival, at London's South Bank Centre and on tour in Canada and the States. 'Into the ring of dancing shadows' for piano quintet, was commissioned for the 2005 Newbury Spring Festival. 'Schulz’s Hourglass', for cello and piano, was premiered at Wigmore Hall by Jamie Walton and Daniel Grimwood, closely followed by the first performance, in the USA, of 'The wind in the ash' for piano quartet, commissioned by Israeli-American cellist Yehuda Hanani for his New England chamber series, Close Encounters with Music.
In 2007 ‘Into the ring of dancing shadows’ received its first American performances in Los Angeles and Oregon – followed by its London premiere at the South Bank Centre in February 2008. An orchestral piece 'Canzona' was commissioned for the inaugeration of Islington's Sistema-based 'Music First' initiative and premiered at the Barbican Centre in May 2009. Other chamber and orchestral works have recently been performed in Heidelberg and Madrid. In October 2011, 'After silence' for string quintet received its first performance at Miami's Wertheim Performing Arts Center, given by the Amernet Quartet with cellist Ross Harbaugh.
Also a conductor, Owen has been musical director of the North London Sinfonia since 2006. In 2016, he initiated a series of concerts with his new orchestra, Chimera, with an orchestral programme that included a new Viola Concerto for Rivka Golani. Previously, he gave a number of concerts with his Helios Chamber Orchestra - particularly reflecting his commitment to exploring new and neglected repertoire. He has also worked with the Oxford Sinfonia, the Dartington Festival Orchestra, the Kingston Philharmonia and the Córdoba-based Orquesta Rusa de Cámara.