Sarah Leonard was born in Winchester, Hampshire and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She performs a wide-ranging repertoire throughout the UK and Europe in major concert halls and festivals, including the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Bath, Huddersfield, Salzburg, Holland, Strasbourg and Venice Biennale.
She is closely associated with the music of the 20th century and she has worked closely with many leading composers such as Birtwistle, Boulez, Dusapin, Ferneyhough, Harle, Harvey, Huber, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nyman and Sciarrino.
In the field of opera she has performed Dr Faustus by Giacomo Manzoni at La Scala Milan, To Be Sung by Pascal Dusapin at the Thйаtre des Amandiers, Paris, Aventures e Nouvelles Aventures by Ligeti with the Ensemble Modern and Das Mдdchen mit den Schwefelhцzern by Helmut Lachenmann and Al Gran Sole Carico d'Amore by Luigi Nono both at the Hamburg State Opera.
Highlights from her concert appearances include Debussy's Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien with the San Francisco Symphony, Ligeti's Requiem with the Hilversum Radio Orchestra and Peter Eцtvцs, Webern's Cantatas with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Boulez, Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with the Philharmonia and Salonen, Krenek's Die Nachtigall with the London Symphony Orchestra and Tilson Thomas, Messiaen's Poems pour Mi with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Eцtvцs and the Austrian Radio Orchestra with Gielen, as well as works by Sciarrino and Varese with the Concertgebouw and Chailly.
She performs regularly with important chamber ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Asko Ensemble, Ensemble Recherche and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Sarah Leonard has made numerous recordings and has embarked on a project to record a series of CDs of English Songs with pianist Malcolm Martineau. Other important releases include Offrandes and Nocturnal by Varиse with Ricardo Chailly and the Concertgebouw, Canti di Vita e d'amore by Luigi Nono with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and Ingo Metzmacher, Michael Nyman's opera The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat, and When the Heart is Young, a collection of songs by Franz Lehаr.
Recent highlights include Kurtag's Quatre Caprices with the Ensemble InterContemporain in Lucerne, Carter What next? at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, To Be Sung in Strasbourg and Berio's Laborintus II at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova. She also performed Das Mдdchen mit den Schwefelhцlzern in Stuttgart, Vienna and Paris. Her performances of Aventures, Nouvelle Aventures with the Scheonberg Ensemble has recently been released by Teldec/Warner Music.