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Opera and lyrical music
Sheet music for Benjamin Lees
Ten Pieces for Piano Solo. Composed by Benjamin Lees (1924-). BH Piano. Classical, Collection, Contemporary. 16 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051282739. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002681).
Piano (Piano) - SMP Level 10 (Advanced); NFMC Level: Musically Advanced Class 2
National Federation of Music Clubs 2014-2016 Selection Piano Solo. Composed by Benjamin Lees (1924-). BH Piano. Musically Advanced Class 2 piece for the Piano Solo event with the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) Festivals Bulletin 2008-2009-2010. Classical, Contemporary. 12 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051281626. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002620).
Composed by Benjamin Lees (1924-). Boosey & Hawkes Scores/Books. 104 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051211081. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002222).
Orchestra, Piano, 2 Pianos, 4 Hands (Piano)
Two Pianos, Four Hands. Composed by Benjamin Lees (1924-). BH Piano. Classical, Contemporary. Boosey & Hawkes #M051270682. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002562).
Orchestra (Study Score)
Composed by Benjamin Lees (1924-). Boosey & Hawkes Scores/Books. Classical, Contemporary. 116 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051208012. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002142).
Piano Solo. Composed by Benjamin Lees (1924-). BH Piano. Classical, Contemporary. 27 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051285259. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002767).
- Borealis (1993) for orchestra
- Concertante Breve (1959) Concerto for Brass Choir and Orchestra (1983)
- Concerto for Chamber Orchestra (1966)
- Concerto for Orchestra (1959) Concerto for French Horn and Orchestra (1992)
- Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (1999)
- Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (1964)
- Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Orchestra (1976)
- Constellations (1997) for orchestra
- Divertimento-Burlesca (1957 for chamber orchestra
- Double Concerto (1982)
- Echoes of Normandy (1994)
- Etudes (1974)
- Intermezzo for String Orchestra (1998)
- Mobiles (1980) 20’
- Oboe Concerto (1963)
- Piano Concerto No. 2 (1966)
- Portrait of Rodin (1984) 17’
- Scarlatti Portfolio (1979)
- Symphony No. 2 (1958) 22’
- Symphony No. 3 (1969) 26’
- Symphony No. 4 "Memorial Candles" (1985
- Symphony No. 5 "Kalmar Nyckel" (1986) 26’
- The Trumpet of the Swan (1972) 17’ for narrator and orchestra Text: E.B. White
- Violin Concerto (1958)
- Works for solo instrument(s) and orchestra
- Concerto for Brass Choir and Orchestra (1983)
- Concerto for French Horn and Orchestra (1992)
- Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (1999) ‘
- Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (1964) 21’
- Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Orchestra (1976)
- Double Concerto for Piano, Cello, and Orchestra (1982)
- Etudes for Piano and Orchestra (1974) 20’
- Oboe Concerto (1963)
- Piano Concerto No. 1 (1955) Piano Concerto No. 2 (1966)
- Variations for Piano and Orchestra (1976)
- Violin Concerto (1958)
- Contours (1994) 10’ for piano, violin, cello, clarinet and French horn
- Dialogue for Cello and Piano (1977) 10’
- Invenzione (1965) 10’ for violin solo
- Piano Trio No. 1 (1983) 17’ for piano, violin and cello
- Piano Trio No. 2 ("Silent Voices") (1998) 15’ for piano, violin and cello
- Sonata (1952) 16’ for horn and piano
- Sonata (1981) 27’ for cello and piano
- Sonata No. 1 (1953) 17’ for violin and piano
- Sonata No. 2 (1972) 22’ for violin and piano
- Sonata No. 3 (1991) 19’ for violin and piano
- String Quartet No. 1 (1952) 16’
- String Quartet No. 2 (1955) 20’
- String Quartet No. 3 (1982) 38’
- String Quartet No. 4 (1989) 20’
- String Quartet No. 5 (2002) 27’
- 1924 Born 8 January and grew up in San Francisco
- 1945 Enters the University of Southern California in Los Angeles
- 1949 Advanced studies in composition with George Antheil, continuing until 1954
- 1952 Sonata for Two Pianos and String Quartet No 1 are presented by Composers’ Forum at Columbia University; in the following year, the two works are among those to win the first Fromm Music Foundation Award
- 1954 Has first significant performance of his work when the NBC Symphony performs Profiles for Orchestra, conducted by Milton Katims for a nationwide broadcast. Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the composer leaves the U.S. to spend seven years traveling in Europe, eventually settling in a small village near Paris
- 1956 Receives Fulbright Fellowship to Finland. Vienna Symphony premieres Piano Concerto No. 1 (1956)
- 1958 Symphony No. 2 commissioned and performed by the Louisville Orchestra, Robert Whitney conducting. Receives UNESCO Award for String Quartet No. 2 and the Sir Arnold Bax Society Medal in London, given for the first time to a non-British composer. Composes Violin Concerto
- 1963 Composes Piano Sonata No. 4, a Ford Foundation commission premiered and later recorded by Gary Graffman
- 1964-1965 Joins the faculty of Queens College where he teaches until 1966. Composes Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (1964), a work that to date has had more than 80 performances by a total of over 35 orchestras
- 1966 Returns to the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, remaining there until 1968. Composes Piano Concerto No. 2, given its first performance by Gary Graffman with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Erich Leinsdorf. Is awarded second Guggenheim Fellowship
- 1967 Invited to visit the Soviet Union as an official guest of the Union of Soviet Composers during May and June. Composes an orchestral score, Silhouettes, for a movement of choreographer John Butler’s "Ballet of the Five Senses," which is broadcast nationwide on the NET public television network
- 1968–1969 Writes Symphony No. 3, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
- 1970 Medea in Corinth, a one-act musical drama, is given its premiere at the Purcell Room in London. Writes Odyssey for English pianist John Ogdon, who gives the work its first performance while on tour in the U.S. Begins two years of teaching at the Manhattan School of Music
- 1976 Three Bicentennial commissions receive their first performances. Passacaglia for Orchestra, commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, Variations for Piano and Orchestra, for the Music Teachers National Association, performed by the Dallas Symphony under Louis Lane, with Eugene List as soloist; and Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Orchestra, a Detroit Symphony commission given its premiere with Aldo Ceccato conducting
- 1977–1980 Composes two song cycles, Staves (1977) and Paumanok (1979), composes the ballet score Scarlatti Portfolio for the San Francisco Ballet, in which he arranges and reharmonizes for orchestra several Scarlatti keyboard works. The Texas Little Symphony commissions Mobiles (1980), which is inspired hy the sculptures of Alexander Calder
- 1981–1982 The Tokyo Quartet commissions String Quartet No. 3 (1982), giving the work its premiere at Carnegie Hall. Double Concerto (1982) is composed for the Clark-Schuldmann duo (cello and piano) to perform with American Symphony Orchestra, Sergiu Comissiona conducting. The duo had also commissioned Sonata for Cello and Piano (1981) and given its first performance
- 1983 Continues series of works for concertante group with orchestra wth Concerto for Brass Choir and Orchestra, a Dallas Symphony Orchestra commission. World premiere of Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello at Williams College, Massachusetts, by the Williams Trio; commissioned by the Williams Trio
- 1984 Lees composes Portrait of Rodin, each ot its seven sections based on a particular work by the French sculptor. In 1987, James DePreist conducts the Oregon Symphony Orchestra in the work’s premiere
- 1985 The Dallas Symphony Orchestra commissions its second Lees work in three years: the monumental Symphony No. 4 "Memorial Candles" for soprano and violin soloists with orchestra, written to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. The three-movement, hour-long work is given its premiere with soloists Zehava Gal and Pinchas Zukerman to widespread critical acclaim. Within a year of the premiere it is performed by the Atlanta, Winnipeg, and Houston symphony orchestras, as well as the London Philharmonia and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
- 1986 The Kalmar Nyckel Commemorative Committee commissions Lees to create a work for the Delaware Symphony Orchestra honoring the 350th anniversary of the founding of Wilmington, originally called "New Sweden," the first Scandinavian settlement in the New World. The result is Symphony No 5, subtitled "Kalmar Nyckel," for the boat in which the colonists traveled. Composes Odyssey II for solo piano, subsequently given its first performance in New York at Merkin Hall, May 27, 1992, by Mirian Conti, piano
- 1989 Composes String Quartet No. 4, commissioned hy Chamber Music America and given its premiere a year later by the Aurora Quartet in San Francisco
- 1991 The Pittsburgh Symphony commissions a concerto for its principal french horn player, William Caballero, for premiere in 1992 with Lorin Maazel conducting
- 1992 Lees writes a new piano composition, Mirrors, given its world premiere May 17, 1992, at Orchestra Hall, Chicago, by Ian Hobson, piano
- 1994 Echoes of Normandy, commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy during World War II, for dramatic tenor, pre-recorded tape, organ and orchestra. Premiered at the Myerson Center, Dallas, Texas, on June 15, 1994, with Edward Cook, tenor; Paul Riedo, organ; and the Dallas Symphony conducted by Andrew Litton. Contours, commissioned by the Sea Cliff Chamber Players, for ensemble. The work was premiered at Sea Cliff Theater, Sea Cliff, Long Island, by the Sea Cliff Chamber Players.
- 1996 Celebration, commissioned by the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the orchestra’s 50th anniversary. World premiere was October 10, 1996, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Stephen Gunzenhauser, conductor
- 1997 Lees is now commissioned by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo to write Constellations, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi Dynasty. The world premiere takes place in Monte Carlo July 17, 1997, with the orchestra conducted by James DePreist
- 1998 The composer now receives a second commission from the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, this time for a Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, to be premiered in Monte Carlo December 1999
- 1998. Piano Trio #2 "Silent Voices", commissioned by the U.S.Holocaust Memorial Museum is premiered May 31st in Washington, D.C. The composer accepts a commission from the USHMM to write a work for unaccompanied cello.
- 1999 Concerto For Percussion and Orchestra premiered December 5,1999 by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Hubert Soudant conducting.
- 2000 East Coast premiere of Constellations performed November 2nd by the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington D.C. under Leonard Slatkin.
- 2001 World premiere of Night Spectres, for unaccompanied cello, performed at the U.S.Holocaust Museum May 21st by Stephen Honigberg. The National Federation of Music Clubs commissions the composer to write a work for two pianos for its Ellis Competition for duo pianists. At the same time, Pacific Serenades commissions Lees to compose a piece for flute, clarinet, cello and piano for its 2004 season.
- 2002 The String Quartet #5, commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet is given its world premiere in San Francisco on March 3rd, and its Kennedy Center premiere October 22nd in Washington D.C.