Lee: Destined Words for Juneteenth

James Lee III’s Destined Words premieres on June 19, 2021, as part of the live, on-stage, gala performance of the Baltimore Symphony’s “Marin Festival,” honoring Marin Alsop’s artistic leadership in her farewell concert with the orchestra. Commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony in celebration of the Juneteenth Holiday, the nine-minute work is scored for: narrator; 2 […] Read more »

Lee: Songs for the People Premieres

“Songs for the People has such beauty and depth. It has rich, musical sonorities that touch me to my core!” — Denyce Graves And so, celebrated mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves shares her thoughts about James Lee III’s new song, which premieres on May 1, as part of the Tulsa Opera’s “Greenwood Overcomes” concerts. Commissioned by the […] Read more »

Lee: Composer’s Corner Q & A

Welcome back to Subito’s “Composer’s Corner.” This issue features James Lee III, a sought-after composer and pianist in American contemporary music. During this challenging era of how the pandemic has effected artists, we talked with him about: composing in a virtual world; his compositional process; some of his favorite works, and the desire to “compose […] Read more »

Lee: Principal Brothers Premieres

On October 11, celebrated clarinetist Anthony McGill premieres James Lee III’s Principal Brothers No. 3 with pianist Gloria Chien in a live-streamed concert. The performance will be presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Written for McGill (principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic), the five-and-a-half-minute piece is the third in Lee’s new group of […] Read more »

Lee: Theodore Front Page

This month, James Lee III is the featured composer on the home page of music dealer Theodore Front. “Each month, Theodore Front Musical Literature features works by a contemporary living composer whose recent activities, we believe, deserve recognition. While they are busy making great music, fulfilling commission requests, preparing their scores for upcoming performances, frequently […] Read more »

Lee: “Sukkot” at the Chicago Symphony

From November 21 – 24, the Chicago Symphony performs James Lee III’s Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula conducted by Juanjo Mena. Commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, Lee’s ten-minute orchestral work premiered in October 2011 at the New World Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas. Lee describes Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula as “…a festive work for orchestra,” […] Read more »

Lee: Visions of Hope

On May 4, James Lee III travels to Lima, Peru for the premiere of his new Sinfonia de Esperanza (Symphony No. 2, “Visions of Hope”) performed by the University of the Peruvian Adventist Union Orchestra (UPeU). Music director Delmar Freire conducts Lee’s 30-minute, four-movement work. “Sinfonia de Esperanza’s title means ‘Visions of Hope,’” Lee shares, […] Read more »

Lee: Violin Sonata No. 2 Premieres

“I am pleased,” shares James Lee III “to have composed Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano for violinist Dr. Igor Kalnin and pianist Dr. Rochelle Sennet.” On March 16, Kalnin and Sennet premiere Lee’s new 22-minute, four-movement work. Written for both instrumentalists who perform together as the Duo MemDi. Sonata No. 2 will premiere at […] Read more »

Lee: Beyond Mirrors of Color

On January 17, James Lee III’s newest song cycle Beyond Mirrors of Color premieres in Jacksonville, FL, performed by soprano Alison Buchanan and the Ritz Chamber Players. Scored for soprano, cello and piano, the five-movement, 19-minute chamber work features poetry written by Buchanan, under the nom de plume of Alison Harding. The premiere is part […] Read more »

Lee: His Music is Powerful

“Even if you didn’t know that James Lee III was quoting melodies to create a dialectic, you would know he was trying to convey something important because his music is powerful and portentous.” And so, David Lockington — music director of the Pasadena Symphony — introduces us to Lee’s new orchestral work Ichabod! The Protest is Over!. […] Read more »