Overview

Benjamin Lees

(1924—2010)


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(b Harbin, Manchuria, 1924; d Long Island, NY, 2010).

Amer. composer of Russ. parentage. Went to Europe 1954, returning to USA 1962. Teacher at several Amer. colleges. Awarded Arnold Bax Medal 1958. Prin. works:

operas:

The Oracle

(1955);

The Gilded Cage

(1963);

Medea in Corinth

(1970).

ballet:

Scarlatti Portfolio

(1979).

orch.:

syms.: No.1 (1953), No.2 (1958), No.3 (1969), No.4 (Memorial Candles), mez., vn., orch. (1985), No.5 (Kalmar Nyckel) (1986); pf. conc. No.1 (1955), No.2 (1966); vn. conc. (1958);

Profile

(1952);

Interlude

, str. (1957);

Concertante breve

, ob., 2 hn., str. (1959);

Concerto for Orchestra

(1959);

Prologue, Capriccio, and Epilogue

(1959); ob. conc. (1963); conc., str. qt., orch. (1964);

Spectrum

(1964); Conc., chamber orch. (1966);

Silhouettes

(1967);

The trumpet of the Swan

, narr., orch. (1972);

Études

, pf., orch. (1974);

Passacaglia

(1975);

Labyrinths

, sym. wind band (1975);

Variations

, pf., orch. (1976); conc., ww. quintet, orch. (1976);

Mobiles

(1980); double conc., pf., vc., orch. (1982); conc., brass, orch. (1983);

Portrait of Rodin

(1984); hn. conc. (1992);

Borealis

(1993);

Celebration

(1996); perc. conc. (1999).

voice(s) & orch.:

Songs of the Night

, sop., 13 instr. (1955);

Visions of Poets

(Whitman), sop., ten., ch. (1961);

Echoes of Normandy

, ten., tape, org., orch. (1994);

The Nervous Family

, ch., bn., orch. (2004).

songs & song‐cycles:

Songs of the Night

, sop., pf. (1952, with instr. 1955);

3 Songs

, cont., pf. (1959);

Cyprian Songs

, bar., pf. (1960);

Staves

, sop., pf. (1977);

Paumanok

, mez., pf. (1980).

chamber music:

str. qts., No.1 (1952), No.2 (1955), No.3 (1982), No.4 (1989), No.5 (2002), No.6 (2005); hn. sonata (1952); vn. sonata No.1 (1953), No.2 (1972), No.3 (1991);

3 Variables

, ob., cl., bn., hn., pf. (1955);

Invenzione

, vn. (1965);

Study No.1

, vc. (1970);

Collage

, wind quintet, perc., str. qt. (1973);

Soliloquy Music from King Lear

, fl. (1975);

Dialogue

, vc., pf. (1977); sextet (wind quintet and pf.) (1977); vc. sonata (1981); pf. trios, No.1 (1983), No.2 (Silent Voices) (1998);

Contours

, pf., vn., vc., cl., hn. (1994);

Night Spectres

, vc. (2000);

Tapestry

, fl., cl., vc., pf. (2003);

Landscape (after Yves Tanguy)

, vn. (2004).

piano:

sonatas: No.1 (1949), No.2 (1950), No.3 (1956), No.4 (1963); sonata, 2 pf. (1951);

Fantasia

(1954);

Sonata breve

(1956);

6 Ornamental Études

(1957);

Kaleidoscopes

(1958);

3 Preludes

(1962);

Odyssey

, pf. (1970);

Fantasy Variations

(1983);

Mirrors

(1992–2003);

Tableau

, 2 pf. (2003).

Subjects: Music.


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