"Christopher James Lees, winner of the Aspen Conducting Prize for 2013, led the ensemble and got the tight rhythmic interjections to fit cleanly with the piano throughout..."
Aspen Times
"Maestro Lees conducted with knowledge of [Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony] that reminded me of watching Bernstein conduct Mahler: he knew every corner and turn and approached each with an incredible amount of musicianship."
Classical Voice of North Carolina
"Very genial, very precise about what he wanted, always couched in terms the musicians could accommodate...Lees' live performances must be very thrilling."
The Huffington Post
"The instrumental performance was superb as well, starting with guest pianist Christopher James Lees. His stylistic range could hardly have been more impressive, from cocktail piano to authoritative Schoenberg, and always with fine ensemble."
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"Lees and the VSO delivered it with real joy."
Barre-Montpelier Times Argus
"Lees conducted from memory, setting up a rhythmically vital, clean, and vibrant performances from the very opening bars."
"His conducting, of both the orchestral works and the accompaniment of the singers, was precise, nuanced, and effective."
Portland Press Herald
"Maestro Lees' commitment to new music is matched only by his charisma and musical ability"
"Collectively, the pieces selected by Mr. Lees attacked me, beckoned me, mesmerized me, connected me to an imagined past, nuzzled me, astonished me, and drove me to tap my feet."
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"Music Director Christopher James Lees conducted the entire concert with a firm and buoyant hand, while the student ensemble rose brilliantly to the challenge of the complex Russian score."

"...it does not matter from which angle you look or listen, these students really are outstanding."

"The level and audible depth of talent within the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra and the School of Music as a whole is truly astounding."

Project Trio performs "Scatter" by Adam Schoenberg with the Charlotte Symphony

"Under the baton of Christopher James Lees – and under the Belk stage – the Charlotte Symphony filled the hall rather nicely."

"It's a very eclectic program...It's like being in a roller-coaster in the relative comfort of the Stevens Center."

"Collage is a taste of the very best of what we do at UNCSA," said Artistic Director Christopher James Lees