Studied flute, saxophone, arranging and conducting in England and The Nederlands. From 1985-2010 she was lecturer in music at the Arnhem Conservatorium, teaching arranging, songwriting and a wide range of jazz theory-related subjects.
From 1992 to 2009 she was bandleader and composer for The United Women’s Orchestra, an international big band based in Germany. With the UWO she produced 3 CDs, and several of her pieces for concert bigband have won international awards.
As a ‘teacher/composer’ she was both participant (2002) and curator (2005) of the Omi International Music Residency in New York, and has given lectures and workshops at Harvard & Columbia (NYC). In 2006 she was invited as ‘Artist-in-residence’ to the Berklee College of Music in Boston USA.
In 2009/2010 she was composer for the award-winning “Paradies 2” project, organised by the IBA (Internationale Bauausstellung) in Germany.
A set of 8 songs entitled "Songs from the Edge", was recorded in 2010 by the German/Dutch quartet "Plots", featuring vocalist Simin Tander.
She has been the artistic director of the Composers’ Orchestra Berlin since autumn 2010, with the “Cobblestones’ Festival in Berlin in 2016 and 3 CD-releases.
Hazel Leach is a prolific composer in a wide variety of forms. Much of her music has been written to commission and includes music for choir, ensemble, orchestra and bigband.