Composer James Lee III, an associate professor at Morgan State University, cites Michael Daugherty, William Bolcom, Bright Shen, Steven Mackey and Osvaldo Golijov as some of his major composition teachers. Maestro Leonard Slatkin began to champion Dr. Lee’s work in 2006, performing his music with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony, among others. Lee has been commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony to compose a work on the life of Harriet Tubman and was the third winner of the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium. Dr. Rochelle Sennet, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has established herself as a well-known performer, teacher, scholar and advocate of contemporary African-American composers. She performs these world-premiere recordings of James Lee’s works for piano with sensitivity and grace, ending the program with a work composed for her, the Piano Sonata No. 2.
"... This music is consistently fleshed out with brilliance and precise construction, and although it breaks no new grounds stylistically, presents an intriguing and fresh new voice. Rochelle Sennet plays with notable commitment and excellent technique."
Peter Burwasser - Fanfare - November/December 2014