Lee: Lament.Sing.Arise

On June 4, 2022, the Ritz Chamber Players present the world premiere of James Lee III’s newest chamber work Lament.Sing.Arise in Washington, DC. Commissioned by the The McKim Fund of The Library of Congress, the nine-minute work will be performed by violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins and pianist Terrence Wilson. The concert takes place in Coolidge Auditorium […] Read more »

Lee: A Stunning & Powerful Work

“I thought the texts of France Harper’s poem ‘A Double Standard’ would work very well for a stunning and powerful work.” And so, James Lee III introduces us to the poet who inspired his newest vocal chamber work A Double Standard. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Shriver Hall, Chamber Music Cincinnati, and Chamber Music Detroit, the […] Read more »

Lee: Times We’re Living In

“I wanted to commission works that would speak to the times we’re living in.” So notes, Kenneth Kiesler – University of Michigan’s director of orchestras — on the eve of the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s April 6, 2022 world premiere of James Lee III’s newest orchestral work Tethered Voices, narrated by Myah Paden. The […] Read more »

Lee: Freedom’s Genuine Dawn

On January 20, 2022, the Baltimore Symphony premieres James Lee III’s Freedom’s Genuine Dawn with spoken word artist Wordsmith. Robert Trevino conducts the concert in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Co-commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony, Boston Symphony and the Rochester Philharmonic, the one-movement, 18-minute work is scored for narrator and orchestra, and features texts by African-American author, […] Read more »

Lee: “Tones of Clay”

On November 14, the Calyx Piano Trio premieres James Lee III’s new 18-minute chamber piece Piano Trio No. 3, “Tones of Clay,” at the Linde Center at the Tanglewood Music Center. Lee comments on his new work. “Piano Trio No. 3 ‘Tones of Clay’ uses the words ‘tones’ and ‘clay’ for two reasons. In my […] Read more »

Lee: “Amer’ican” Premieres

On October 29, 2021, the Detroit Symphony presents the world premiere of James Lee III’s orchestral work Amer’ican, conducted by Eric Jacobsen. Commissioned by the orchestra, Amer’ican was originally scheduled to premiere in April 2020; but due to the Covid pandemic it was postponed until this season. The 13-minute work was inspired by Dvorak’s celebrated […] Read more »

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 »