Review: University Opera Theatre's Don Giovanni

Christopher James Lees led a smoothly elegant performance that captured the comic, ironic, passionate, and sinister elements of the score [Don Giovanni], and the orchestra played with refinement and infectious energy”
Stephen EddinsAnn Arbor Observer
23 November 2012

PSO, Guests Shine in Pops Concert

“If the program, heavily revised from the original, was the work of guest conductor Christopher James Lees, he deserved the accolades of a large and enthusiastic audience…

His conducting, of both the orchestral works and the accompaniment of the singers, was precise, nuanced, and effective.”
Christopher HydePortland Press Herald
20 November 2011

A Red Hot Start to Michigan's New Music Season

“Maestro Lees’ commitment to new music is matched only by his charisma and musical ability...I was entranced from beginning to end by the beguiling ebb of instrumental strength, musical style and length as each work passed to the next.

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.

...I can confidently declare that, at least on Saturday night, Maestro Lees and his performers were beyond reproach.”
Garrett SchumannSequenza21
26 October 2011

Have Baton, Will Travel: Classical Music Combine in New Orleans

Christopher James Lees had a small technique, but a long baton reach. Very genial, very precise about what he wanted, always couched in terms the musicians could accommodate. He was always set on his feet, a lithe backcourt warrior guarding classical music’s gates, athletic without being balletic. It’s most impressive when an orchestra thinks it is in charge, and yet a conductor gets what he or she wants almost at once, clearly delineated and modularized, and then really only helps them fix some obvious things. Lees’ live performances must be very thrilling.”
Lawrence VittesThe Huffington Post
04 March 2011

CDE and the Machine Which Makes Art

“As the vibrations of that final pizzicato evaporated into silence and Christopher Lees dropped his baton, I became certain that, in a season of strong performances, this [Contemporary Directions Ensemble] concert is the group’s crowning achievement -- so far.”
Garrett SchumannSequenza21
16 February 2011

A conversation with Christopher James Lees

“Now in his third season, the orchestra’s ever inspiring conductor, Christopher James Lees, is a very thoughtful and articulate person who is passionate about the role that classical music can play in the nurturing of young people.”
01 February 2010
[Christopher James] Lees conducted from memory, setting up a rhythmically vital, clean, and vibrant performance from the very opening bars...the peppy minuet was followed by a superbly layered account of one of Mozart’s most complicated symphonic movements...Lees brought this well-paced “Jupiter” to a joyful conclusion”
18 January 2010