Keep Informed > Where Are You Now? > 2010-2019 > Kendra Leonard

Where Are You Now?

Kendra Leonard

Kendra Preston Leonard

PhD Published Works 2014

Kendra is a musicologist and music theorist whose work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and music and screen history, particularly music and adaptations of Shakespeare; and a librettist and poet. She is the author of five scholarly books and numerous book chapters and articles.

Her work has appeared in The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies, Gender and Song in Early Modern England, This Rough Magic, Upstart Crow, Early Modern Studies Journal, The Journal of Historical Biography, The Journal of Musicological Research, and Current Musicology, among other journals and collections.

Talking about her experience at the University of Sunderland, Kendra said: "I was a distance learning student, and did my PhD by published works at Sunderland. My advisors there, Tim Brennan and John Kefala-Kerr, were wonderful, and my degree has opened many new doors for me professionally."

Kendra has had numerous recent premieres and performances of her work. “Strawberry Man,” with music for soprano by Lisa Neher, was commissioned and premiered by Arwen Meyers in April 2020; Fire and Dust, with music for mixed chorus by Stephen Vincent Casellas, was premiered at the 2020 N. E. O. Voice Festival.

Kendra’s collaboration with composer Jessica Rudman on a full-length opera adaptation of Leonard’s novella Protectress (2020, Unsolicited Press) resulted in the performance of the opera’s first aria as part of the American Opera Project’s First Glimpse program.

Kendra’s libretto Par for the Course, with music by Lisa Neher, was premiered with Rhymes with Opera; and her libretto of Sense of Self, also with music by Neher, will be premiered by Opera Elect in late 2020. Kendra’s first collection of poetry, Making Mythology, was published by Louisiana Literature Press in 2020. Also an active musicologist and music theorist who specializes in women and music and music for the screen, Kendra is a frequent guest lecturer; her most recent scholarly book is Music for the Kingdom of Shadows: Cinema Accompaniment in the Age of Spiritualism.

She is the winner of several scholarly awards and prizes, including the Rudolph Ganz Long-Term Fellowship at the Newberry Library, a Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship, an American Music Research Center Fellowship, the inaugural Judith Tick Fellowship from the Society for American Music, and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Thornton Wilder Fellowship in Wilder Studies. She is the Director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive

Visit her website at or on Twitter at K_Leonard_PhD

University of Sunderland logo

Development & Alumni Office | +44 (0)191 515 3664 |

Privacy Policy