Freelance Australian Composer/Conductor Stephen Leek has long associations with some of the finest and most innovative choirs around the world including Gondwana Voices (Australia), the Tapiola Children’s Choir (Finland), Kamer…Choir (Latvia), The Formosa Singers (Taiwan), and his own choirs, vOiCeArT and The Australian Voices, that he co-founded and conducted for 16 years until 2009. As a conductor, Leek has been in demand to work as guest conductor around the globe. As a composer he writes in his own distinctive contemporary style where his works have broad appeal and are performed regularly by a wide selection of choirs throughout the world and have been commissioned by some of the leading choral groups. Having written 13 operas, numerous orchestral and chamber works, music for education and dance, yet, Leek is often credited as the “founder of Australian choral music” through his commitment to the innovative development of Australian choral music over the past 4 decades and through his composition of over 700 innovative choral works which explore a uniquely “Australian” colour and texture. A Churchill Fellow, Leek has received numerous national and international awards including the highly prestigious “Robert Edler International Choral Prize” for his contribution to the development of global choral music presented to him in Darmstaat, Germany.
He has held many national and international positions including Vice President of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) from 2011 – 2017, and 2012/13, Artistic Director of the Shanghai Youth Choir and in 2015, Conductor of the Asia Pacific Youth Choir. Leek still free-lances around Australia and around the world as conductor and composer, but now resides in Canberra. He is part-time Artistic Director / General Manager of the Young Music Society – a nationally awarded, self-funded, non-profit, community based organisation that celebrated 50 years in 2019, and teaches composition and choral conducting sessionally at the University of Melbourne Music Department and the Australian National University School of Music. In 2021 in conjunction with his colleague Joel Copeland and the Canberra Girls Grammar School Music academy, Leek has formed a new choir, Voices of Canberra Ensemble (VOCE), for young talented singers between the ages of 16 and 21 in order to bridge the choral abyss between school choral programs and the adult repertoire.