New Orchestral Work by James Lee III to Receive World Premiere at Baltimore Symphony

Baltimore Symphony to Showcase ‘Revolutionary Women’ During 2011-2012 Season

James Lee III“Revolutionary women,” including Joan of Arc and Harriet Tubman, will be showcased during the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 2011-2012 season, which also packs in music by some relatively revolutionary men, too.

BSO music director Marin Alsop, something of a revolutionary herself in a profession still dominated by males, said “It’s a wonderful opportunity to promote the terrific orchestra we have, and to be ambassadors of our region to another part of the U.S.” With Joan of Arc as a centerpiece for the season, “I then tried to build my programs from there, focusing not just on women’s issues, but issues of oppression and justice,” Alsop adds “and focusing on women in roles as creators or soloists.”

The struggles and aspirations of Harriet Tubman inspired “Chuphshah! Harriet’s Drive to Canaan,” an orchestral work by Baltimore-based composer James Lee III that will receive its world premiere in September of 2011.

In recent years, Dr. Lee has written extensively for chorus, solo voice, orchestra, and organ, and has received numerous commissions. With works premiered by Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Ritz Chamber Players, and the National Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Lee is a recent winner of the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium for their 2011-2012 season. The Sphinx Commissioning Consortium has selected Dr. Lee for its third annual commission. The new work will be scored for orchestra, and will be premiered by the consortium and seven different orchestras.

“I want to compose music to reach to the inner soul of the listener that elevates them regardless of race and religious affiliation.” – James Lee, III