"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..."
"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
"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."
"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
"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"
"...the orchestra's ever inspiring conductor, Christopher James Lees, is a thoughtful and articulate person who is passionate about the role that classical music can play in the nurturing of young people"
"Lees conducted from memory, setting up a rhythmically vital, clean, and vibrant performances from the very opening bars."
"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."