Kendra Preston Leonard

Women in Silent Film Music at the Women Film Pioneers Project

I’m delighted to have contributed to the Women Film Pioneers Project, an outstanding resource on women in early film. Here I write about the careers of Hazel Burnett and Alice Jay, two organists who created their own scores and recordings for accompanying silent film, and who were among the widest-recognized women accompanists of the day.

Newberry Library Podcast

In this episode of the Newberry Library podcast, Alex Teller, the Newberry’s Director of Communications and Editorial Services, and I discuss women who accompanied silent films:

Hartford Opera Theater premieres!

Mark your calendars, friends! Hartford Opera Theater will be presenting the program “Speaking Her Truth,” featuring music by Jessica Rudman, including our “Four Songs for Lady Macbeth” and Marie Curie Learns to Swim on 28 April 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Talk at Mary Washington University, January 2018

I’ll be giving a talk on “Negotiating Problems of Nostalgia: Music for Buster Keaton’s The General,” prior to a screening of the film with live accompaniment by Andrew Simpson on 18 January 2018 in Pollard Hall, room 204, at Mary Washington University. The event, which is open to the public, will begin at  7:30 p.m. 

Writing Irene Curie

I have a post up on writing an aria for Irene Curie for Marie Curie Learns to Swim at

Coming up on 18 October: Money, Sex, and Organs

I’ll be presenting “Money, Sex, and Organs: Preliminary Research on Women Musicians in the Silent Cinema,” at the Newberry Library at 4:00 p.m. on 18 October 2017. Admission is free; refreshments will be served starting at 3:30.

Where am I? Late 2017-early 2018

My current schedule is below. I’m always available for guest lectures or workshops, conducted in person or over Skype. 18 October 2017: “Money, Sex, and Organs: Preliminary Research on Women Musicians in the Silent Cinema,” Newberry Library, Chicago. 4:00 p.m., Towner Fellows’ Lounge, 2nd Floor. 8-12 November 2017: American Musicological Society annual meeting, Rochester NY. Co-chair, […]

Nostalgia and Cultural Memory in Scoring for The General (1927)

I’ll be presenting a paper on “Nostalgia and Cultural Memory in Scoring for [Buster Keaton’s] The General (1927)” at the AMS-Midwest meeting, 23-24 September 2017 at Roosevelt University. I’ll be talking about race, post-war depictions of the American South in popular entertainment, the use of Southern-signifying music, and more of current relevance. This is a […]