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Lesley Barber (Toronto, Ontario, 1962) is a Canadian music composer for film, theater, camera and orchestral ensemble and is also a director, pianist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Barber is especially known for composing music for the film You Can Count On Me, Mansfield Park, Blind Love, When Night Falls, and for the animated television series Little Bear.
Born in Toronto in 1968, Lesley Barber began composing at the age of ten. He won several awards for young composers and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from the University of Toronto in 1988, studying with the pioneer of electroacoustic music Gustav Ciamaga and composer Lothar Klein.
After college, Barber spent several years recording for alternative theater in Toronto, creating music for more than 20 theater productions. Notable works include Brad Fraser’s Unidentified Human Remains and The True Nature of Love; Love and Anger, Nothing Sacred, Escape from Happiness, by George F. Walker and The Warriors by Michel Garneau The last two productions received the Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Original Music.
As a classical composer Barber has been hired by artists such as pianist Eve Egoyan, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Hemispheres and has acted as Young Resident Composer at the Sound Festival and at the New Music Festival of Winnipeg. Works include Long White Line (for orchestra), Rhythmic Voodoo (percussion and electronica), Music for a Lonely Zamboni (piano trio) and Marshland (string quartet). Barber has composed for Yo-Yo Ma for the television series Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach.
Barber has cited Takemitsu, Corigliano, Haydn, Sofia Gubaidulina, Steve Reich, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Carter Burwell, Ennio Morricone, and Philip Glass as musical influences.
Barber’s work in films includes the winner of an Academy Award You Can Count On Me, by Kenneth Lonergan; the winner of an Emmy and a Blind Gold Globe of Love, by Mira Nair (starring Uma Thurman and Gena Rowlands); Mansfield Park and When Night Is Falling, by Patricia Rozema. He has also worked with directors Wayne Wang and Boaz Yakin. Barber has recorded in Toronto, London, Los Angeles, New York and Budapest and has worked with Miramax, New Line, Focus Features, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., and Home Box Office, among others.
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