Welcome to the online home of composer Christopher Lee.
I've been appointed Visiting Lecturer in Musicianship at the University of Massachusetts Lowell for 2015-2016, where I'll teach courses in musicianship and analysis along with mixed chamber ensembles with an emphasis on songwriting and production.
I'm writing a new piece for woodwind quintet, Three Sketches in Blue, to be premiered by the Hathor Winds in the spring of 2016. The ensemble is made up of recent graduates of Boston University and the Boston Conservatory. More information coming soon!
Flickering Flame for solo flute with live sound processing was premiered by flutist Angela Longo at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts on May 12, 2014. Recording coming soon - view an excerpt of the score here.
Skywriting will be performed by flutist Angela Longo at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts on Sunday, February 3 at 2:00 p.m. The recital will take place in Beveridge Hall.
A new work, Zodiacal Light, for violin, viola, flugelhorn and electronics, was premiered by the Californian electro-acoustic ensemble SoundProof on their Fall 2012 tour, including an October 11 performance at the Electronic Music Midwest Festival at Lewis University near Chicago. View the score here.
The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Wind Symphony will perform Up on Tuesday, November 15 in Kingsville, Texas, under the direction of Brian Shelton.
Skywriting for alto flute will be performed by Kelly Mollnow Wilson at the National Flute Association Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday, August 14, 2011. The 11 a.m. performance will be part of a special concert honoring the renowned flutist and teacher Katherine Borst Jones. Here's a link to the NFA's convention page.
In June I joined the music faculty of the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where I'll be assisting with the design of a new music curriculum and teaching composition, music theory, percussion and piano.
In an interesting departure for me, I was happy to oblige when my friend and founding editor of the literary magazine Whiskey and Fox Daniel Remein asked me to contribute a new piece for the latest issue. The theme of the issue is "Lithic," and will contain poetry and prose (and now music) that touches upon the subject of stones, ciphers, codes, and otherwise non-verbal modes of communication. The resulting pair of works, Stele and Stele: Translation I (for solo piano) were inspired by the evocative mid-twentieth century graphic scores of Earle Brown. Stele consists of a Brownian array of blocks floating in space, to be interpreted freely by any number of performers, but the Translation presents a very different aesthetic by providing a precise interpretation of the graphic using spatial and mathematical formulae. It imagines a fusion of paradigms that might have resulted if Brown's mentor John Cage had not broken off his early friendship with Pierre Boulez. A stele is a stone or wooden slab, erected for memorial or commemorative purposes, and engraved with the names of the deceased. Publication information to follow.
The Rapides Symphony Orchestra of Alexandria, Louisiana will perform Interiors on April 30, 2011, led by conductor Joshua Zona. Interiors was premiered in December 2008 by the Rice University Shepherd School of Music Symphony Orchestra with Cristian Macelaru conducting.
I will be serving as a guest lecturer in orchestration at the Berklee College of Music in February.
Skywriting for alto flute will be performed by Peter Sheridan in Sydney, Australia on November 21 at Flute Tree Studio.
Percussion soloist Jeremy Craycraft premiered In the Realm of the New Geometry, a concerto for percussion and wind ensemble, on Friday, October 8, 2010 with the Baldwin-Wallace College Symphonic Wind Ensemble, led by music director and Professor of Conducting Dwight Oltman. Jeremy had previously commissioned Akom in 2008 and Maestro Oltman's excellent ensemble gave the premiere of Up in 2005. The title of this concerto was suggested by recent developments in mathematics beyond traditional Euclidean geometry that allow calculations and predictions about objects over curved planes and extremely abstract spaces. This idea led me to explore the malleability of conventional Western harmony using quarter tones and the just intonation of the natural overtone series. Many percussion instruments like gongs and bells produce rich tones in which a single clear pitch can be hard to define. In this piece, wind instruments imitate and engage in a dialogue of sorts with these beautifully ambiguous sounds, provided by the soloist and a large battery of percussion within the ensemble.
Skywriting for alto flute was performed by Peter Sheridan at California State University Northridge on April 28 and Portland State University on May 1.
I was very happy to be included in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's commissioning initiative, Project 440. A big thank you to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Artistic Programming Advisor Gerard McBurney for his recommendation to the project committee.
Peter Sheridan, professor at the University of Melbourne, founder of the Los Angeles Flute Quartet and one of the world's few experts on the low (and I mean low) flutes has commissioned a work utilizing the alto, bass, contrabass and sub-contrabass flutes, to be premiered in 2010.
Watch a video of the premiere of Akom, a work for percussion ensemble based on ceremonial music of Ghana. It is performed by the excellent hand drum ensemble of the College of St. Scholastica. The group is led by director and soloist Jeremy Craycraft, who commissioned the piece.
Please check back for news and updates.
Photography by Matthew Lee and Carl J. Lee.
Copyright 2015 Christopher Lee. All rights reserved.