“The eponymous album by the violin and piano duo Room to Spare explodes with brilliance and promise. Informed by a range of composers and styles one can only begin to guess (Bartók, Messiaen, Bill Evans, Tigran Hamasyan, jazz, classical, folk, prog rock…), these two players/composers have things to say. Connor and Leach bring both a blazing energy and, when desired, a broad and powerful calm. They navigate dense rhythmic and harmonic terrain while in other passages they revel in the joy of simple harmony and carefully voiced melody. Nothing gets tired or feels superfluous. The future is bright for these two – and, thanks to them, the future is brighter for contemporary chamber music. ”
— Brad Wells (Founder/Artistic Director, Roomful of Teeth)
After years of giving impromptu performances in unusual places—from campgrounds in American national parks to hostel courtyards in rural Spain to a mountain pass in the Swiss Alps—Julia Connor and David Leach formed the violin & piano duo Room to Spare in the spring of 2018. The duo’s name reflects the pair's spacious approach to music making, as they draw inspiration from a wide variety of musical traditions—from jazz and classical, to folk, rock, and prog-metal. Room to Spare released its debut album in May 2019, which Brad Wells (founder and artist director of the Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth) praised, saying that the album "explodes with brilliance and promise[...]The future is bright for these two – and, thanks to them, the future is brighter for contemporary chamber music." Julia and David were also artists in residence at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon and were recognized by WBUR Boston as as one of the top 21 entries from Massachusetts to NPR's 2019 Tiny Desk Contest.
In October 2019, Room to Spare premiered Jonah, a 40-minute cantata which David composed on commission from Temple Beth Avodah in Newton, MA. Upcoming projects include a collaboration with Brooklyn-based guitarist Noah Berman and tours to California and New Mexico, where they will be ensemble in residence at UC Riverside and the University of New Mexico. Julia and David are graduates of the double degree program at the Oberlin College and Conservatory. Julia also holds a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and David holds an MFA in poetry from Boston University.