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Thomas Oboe Lee

Born: 1945

Nationality: American

Publisher: AMP

Photo © Elizabeth Hamlin

Thomas Oboe Lee was born in China in 1945. He lived in São Paulo, Brazil, for six years before coming to the United States in 1966. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with BA in music, he went on to study music composition with William Thomas McKinley, George Russell and Gunther Schuller at the New England Conservatory (1972-76); with Betsy Jolas at Tanglewood (1976) and Earl Kim at Harvard University (1977-81). He has been a member of the music faculty at Boston College since 1990.

Mr. Lee has composed over a hundred works: six symphonies, nine string quartets, nine concerti, choral works, song cycles, and scores of chamber music. He has received many awards for his work: the Rome Prize Fellowship, the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, two Guggenheim Fellowships, two National Endowment for the Arts Composers Fellowships, two Massachusetts Artists Fellowships, First Prize at the Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards for his String Quartet No. 3 ... "child of Uranus, father of Zeus," the Georges Enesco International Composition Prize, the Koussevitzky Tanglewood Composition Prize, recording grants from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony and the Charles Ives Center in Danbury, CT, and Charleston, SC.

In 1984, Esquire magazine selected him as one of two composers in its First Annual Register, "The Best Of The New Generation: Men and Women Under 40 Who Are Changing America." He has received commissions from Amnesty International USA, the Thoreau Society, the Fromm Music Foundation, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the American Jazz Philharmonic, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Boston Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Additional orchestral performances include those by the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Keith Lockhart, the Charleston Symphony with David Stahl, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with Jeffrey Kahane, and the American Composers Orchestras with Gunther Schuller.

Some of his early works are published by G. Schirmer/Associated Music Publishers, Inc. and the rest are published by Departed Feathers Music. His music has been recorded on GM, MCA Classics, Northeastern and Nonesuch Records. Two solo compact disks of his music are commercially available: "Morango - almost a tango" featuring the Hawthorne String Quartet on Koch International Classics released in 2002, and "The Visconti Sforza Tarot Cards, opus 66 - Twenty-two salon pieces for two pianos" featuring the Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo on the Arsis label released in 2003. Mr. Lee is also active as a jazz flutist. An LP recording of his band, Departed Feathers, is available on GM Recordings.
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