Christopher James Lees, newly appointed music director of the Rock Hill Symphony.

South Carolina’s Rock Hill Symphony has named Christopher James Lees as music director and conductor. Lees assumes artistic leadership of the Rock Hill Symphony immediately, while remaining as resident conductor of the Charlotte Symphony in North Carolina, an appointment he began in 2018. Lees has performed with orchestras across the U.S., from the New York Philharmonic to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as the Houston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Fort Worth, and New World orchestras, and has conducted multiple international orchestras. Lees was a Gustavo Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and won the James Conlon Conducting Prize and the Aspen Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival and School. An active pianist, and equally comfortable in the opera pit, Lees has served as music director or assistant conductor for opera. Lees has premiered more than one hundred fifty new works by a diverse range of composers, and collaborated with John Adams, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Joseph Schwantner, Steven Stucky, Caroline Shaw, Roger Reynolds, and Julia Wolfe. A native of Washington, D.C., Lees holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan. The fully professional Rock Hill Symphony was founded in 2017 by a group of musicians and local supporters.