Lee has composed over a hundred thirty works: seven symphonies, twelve string quartets, ten concerti for various solo instruments, choral works, song cycles and scores of chamber works. Some of his early works, originally published by Margun Music Inc., have since been transferred to G. Schirmer Inc./Associated Music Publishers. His 100-minute, two-act chamber opera "The Inman Dairies" is available for rental and sale from the Theodore Presser Company. The rest - orchestral, choral, vocal and chamber music - is self-published under the moniker "Departed Feathers Music." His music has been recorded on Nonesuch, MCA Classics, Koch International Classics, BMG Catalyst, Arsis Audio, Northeastern and Gunther Schuller's GM Recordings, Inc.

His most popular work, "Morango ... Almost A Tango," written for and recorded by the Kronos Quartet, has been used in dance by choreographers like Michael Tracy for Pilobolus (dance company), Jiri Kylian for the Netherlands Dance Theater, Danny Rosseel for the Royal Ballet of Flanders, Nicolo Fonte for the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Australian Ballet, Carolyn Carlson for the Cullberg Ballet of Sweden, Olivia Rosenkrantz for Tapage - a tap duo, et al. Additionally, "Morango ..." was used as a sound track for "Call It Sleep" - a documentary on Henry Roth.

Lee has recently ventured into the world of opera. His two-act chamber opera, "The Inman Diaries," (libretto by Jesse J. Martin) about the infamous Boston diarist Arthur Crew Inman was produced and premiered in Boston in 2007 by Intermezzo - The New England Chamber Opera Series. His on-going opera-in-progress is "Oscar Wilde ... An Opera in Two Acts."


Moonshine Room at Club Café | April 30, 2013
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | May 22, 2009

News and Press

[CD Review] A Diverse Musical Mix

Born in China in 1945 and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thomas Oboe Lee has lived in the United States since the mid-1960s. As you might I guess from these barest facts of his biography, they make for a rather heady cultural mix. As the composer himself disarmingly puts it: "The first thing people say after hearing my music is, 'Your stuff is all over the place. I hear jazz, I hear samba, I hear neoclassical and romantic things...'"

In this new recording of six of Lee's concertos, you hear all of that and more.

Classical KUSC Full review
[CD Review] Lee: Six Concertos Review in MusicWeb International

Thomas Oboe Lee weaves many influences into a distinctive artistic voice. Born in China to nightclub singers, he spent his teenage years living in Brazil, then moved to the United States to study composing at Harvard and the New England Conservatory. Along the way he picked up the sounds not just of bossa nova and samba, but the cool American jazz of Davis, Coltrane and Evans.

MusicWeb International Full review
[CD Review] Classical Lost and Found reviews Paul Moravec: Northern Lights Electric and Thomas Oboe Lee: Six Concertos

With these two recent releases from BMOP/sound we get an attractive bouquet of concertos from a couple of America's most highly regarded contemporary composers, Thomas Oboe Lee (b. 1945) and Paul Moravec (b. 1957, see below). Lee was born in China but left there with his family in 1949, spending ten years in Hong Kong and another six in Brazil. He then emigrated to the United States in 1966, where he pursued extensive musical studies, graduating from Harvard in 1981. He's received a number of outstanding awards, and now teaches at Boston College.

Classical Lost and Found Full review