From: Cleveland, Ohio. LA Opera: Nightsongs (to be performed as part of Russell Thomas's recital on February 25, 2023)
H. Leslie Adams (born in 1932) is the winner of the 2015 Cleveland Arts Prize. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he attended school in California, and served many years as a choral conductor, show musical director and educator, before becoming a composer full time in 1979. His music touches a wide variety of musical tastes and preferences. His stage work Blake was featured on the VOX Showcase of New York City Opera, and was published in a new edition in 2021. His art songs have been sung by leading operatic artists worldwide including Kenneth Overton, Denyce Graves, Damien Geter, Louise Toppin and many others. His orchestral and chamber music has been performed by the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Iceland Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, to name a few.
His discography includes Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams, first released 2001, featuring tenor Darryl Taylor and accompanist Robin Guy. It was chosen as one of the ten best recordings of the year by American Record Guide, and continues to be widely streamed. The album features the complete song cycles Nightsongs and The Wider View, along with excerpts from Five Millay Songs and many individual songs, including the composer's own setting of Amazing Grace.
Adams' very popular Etudes for Piano have been recorded by pianists including Maria Corley and Thomas Otten, and most recently performed for a festival honoring the composer, featuring 25 BYU Pianists.
Nightsongs, a collection of songs on poetry by African-American poets, and Daybirth, with poetry of Joette McDonald, are published by the American Composers Alliance in the American Highlights series. Reviewers have observed that Adams' music is simple yet complex, fun yet serious, and spiritual yet nonreligious. Above all, his music touches the heart and soul in a personal manner.
In addition to the Cleveland Arts Prize, Mr. Adams has been awarded by the Bascom Little Foundation and BMI. He continues an active schedule as an organist and composer.
Learn more at HLeslieAdams.com.