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Lesley Barber (born 1962) is a Canadian composer of music for film, theatre, chamber and orchestral ensembles and she is also a conductor, pianist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Barber is best known for composing the film scores for Manchester by the Sea, Late Night, You Can Count on Me, Mansfield Park, Irreplaceable You, Hysterical Blindness, When Night Is Falling, and composing music for the animated television series Little Bear.

Lesley Barber
Lesley Barber at the Nappily Ever After Premiere.jpg
Barber attends the Nappily Ever After premiere in Los Angeles, 2018
Background information
Born1962 (age 56–57)
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresFilm score
Occupation(s)Film composer, orchestrator, arranger, conductor
InstrumentsPiano, keyboard
Years active1995–present


Early life and educationEdit

Born in 1962 in Toronto, Ontario, Barber started composing at age 10. She won several young composer awards and graduated with a master's degree in music composition from The University of Toronto in 1988, studying with electro-acoustic music pioneer, composer Gustav Ciamaga and composer Lothar Klein.


After university, Barber spent several years scoring for the alternative theatre scene in Toronto, creating music for over 20 theatre productions. Notable theatre works include Brad Fraser’s Unidentified Human Remains and The True Nature of Love George F. Walker’s Love and Anger, Nothing Sacred, Escape from Happiness, and Michel Garneau’s The Warriors.[1] The latter two productions received Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Original Score.

As a classical composer Barber has been commissioned by artists such as pianist Eve Egoyan, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Hemispheres Orchestra, and serving as Young Composer in Residence at the Festival of the Sound, and Winnipeg’s New Music Festival. Works include Long White Line (for orchestra), Rhythmic Voodoo (percussion and electronica). Music for a Lonely Zamboni (piano trio) and Marshland (string quartet). Barber composed for Yo-Yo Ma for the television series Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach.

Barber has cited as musical influences Takemitsu, Corigliano, Haydn, Sofia Gubaidulina, Steve Reich, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Carter Burwell, Ennio Morricone, and Philip Glass.[2]

Barber’s work on film scores includes Kenneth Lonergan’s Academy Award-nominated feature film You Can Count on Me, Jerry Rothwell's award-winning documentary, How to Change the World, Mira Nair’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning Hysterical Blindness (starring Uma Thurman and Gena Rowlands), Mary Harron's The Moth Diaries, Patricia Rozema’s Mansfield Park and When Night Is Falling, the award-winning children’s classic television animated series Little Bear with Maurice Sendak, Wiebke Von Carolsfeld's Marion Bridge, the recently released powerhouse doc The Apology by Tiffany Hsiung and Kenneth Lonergan's award-winning Manchester by the Sea. Lesleys other films include a remake of the film Beaches, Attiya Khan's award winning documentary A Better Man, Boarding School, a horror adventure film written directed by Boaz Yakin, the Netflix features Nappily Ever After, directed by Haifaa alMansour, Irreplaceable You, directed by Stephanie Laing, and Late Night, starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling, and directed by Nisha Ganatra. Barber has recorded scores in Toronto, London, Los Angeles, New York, and Budapest and worked with Miramax, New Line, Focus Features, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., and Home Box Office amongst others.

In 2016, Barber was the first female composer to be feature on The Hollywood Reporter Composer Roundtable, where she appeared next to Hans Zimmer, Justin Hurwitz, Nicholas Britell, John Debney, and Hauschka.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Barber has two daughters with her former partner, film director Patricia Rozema.[4]




  1. ^ "Movie Music UK". Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Biography". Lesley Barber she has a daughter names angi dubois. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit