Leonard Hayes is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California, where he studies under the tutelage of concert pianist Bernadene Blaha. He serves as the graduate teaching assistant in the Keyboard Studies department. Previously, Hayes served as head of piano studies and assistant director in the Music Conservatory at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX.
Hayes is a winner of numerous piano competitions including the 2021 Los Angeles Korean American Music Competition and the 2015 National Piano Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Musicians. As a concerto soloist, he has performed with the Santa Monica Symphony, New England Repertory Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Korean American Orchestra. As recitalist and chamber musician, Hayes has performed across the U.S. and abroad, including such notable venues as Sweelinkzaal at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion; Hammond Hall at the Winspear Opera House; Steinway Hall, Hatch Hall, and Kilbourn Hall (Eastman School of Music); Memorial Chapel (Lawrence University); Ayers Recital Hall (Texas Lutheran University); and Thrasher Opera House (Green Lake, WI). As a scholar, Hayes was awarded the prestigious 2015 Links Scholarship. The award, a cooperative effort between the Rochester (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc., and the Eastman School of Music, recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary talent of an African American scholar musician.
Hayes received a high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy. He holds a bachelor of music degree from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University with additional studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; and a master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music. Leonard’s teacher-mentors have included Douglas Humpherys, Catherine Kautsky, and T.J. Lymenstull.