H. Leslie Adams

Biography

H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932) is the winner of the 2015 Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award.  Born in 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 unique 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 on the National Opera Association programs. His art songs have been sung by leading artists worldwide, in many languages. His orchestral works have been performed by the Prague Radio Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, to name a few.

Recordings of Adams' music include "Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams" first released in January, 2001, featuring the internationally-known tenor, Darryl Taylor. It was chosen as one of the ten best  recordings of the year by American Record Guide, and is now in its second printing. Love Rejoices is a 75-minute all-Adams recital featuring the artistry of Mr. Taylor and accompanist Robin Guy. The album features the complete song cycle, "Nightsongs" and "The Wider View" along with excerpts from "Five Millay Songs" and many individual songs, including the composer's original setting of "Amazing Grace."

Adams' very popular "Etudes for Piano" have been recorded by pianists including Maria Corley and Thomas Otten. 

"Nightsongs" a collection of songs on poetry by African-American poets, is one of ACA's most popular sheet music collections, year after year. Many critics have observed that they find no other composer writing like Adams in the world. They find it simple yet complex, fun yet serious, 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. He was commissioned by the Mirror Visions Ensemble in 2019. 

Links to recordings below:

"Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams" [2nd ed.; Darryl Taylor, tenor]

http://cdbaby.com/cd/darryltaylor

"Twelve Etudes"  [Maria Corley, pianist]

Etudes for Piano [Thomas Otten, pianist]: 

***Notice: Any recordings of songs or vocal music by H. Leslie Adams may require licensing and clearances from all legal rightsholders, including text authors and their estates. Purchase of a score does not transfer recording rights.

 

ACE Publications

23 title(s)
Composer Title SCORING/INSTRUMENTATION Year
H. Leslie Adams SENCE YOU WENT AWAY (From Nightsongs -Chamber Orchestra version) in G Major 1111 2000 harp, strings, high voice
high voice, fl, ob, cl, bsn, hn(2), harp, strings
H. Leslie Adams SENCE YOU WENT AWAY - from Nightsongs voice and Chamber Orchestra - F Major (medium) medium voice, chamber orchestra
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H. Leslie Adams I WANT TO DIE EASY - Choral Setting of Spiritual -
SATB, pf
H. Leslie Adams HYMN TO ALL NATIONS -
SATB divisi, pf
H. Leslie Adams Christmas Lullaby -Sleep Baby Sleep - choral -
SATB, piano
H. Leslie Adams CHRISTMAS LULLABY - 2 part children's chorus with piano SSA, piano
-
H. Leslie Adams HYMN TO FREEDOM (Sop, Ten, BBar solo, plus 10 players) Soprano, Tenor, and Bass-Baritone soloists, and chamber ensemble
Sop, Ten, BassBar; Woodwind (1 player: picc or flute, cl, bscl, Ebaltosax), Bb trumpet, trombone, tuba (optional euph, bass tbn, or db), perc(1), piano, v1, v2, va, vc, (opt)db
H. Leslie Adams FIVE MILLAY SONGS - orchestral versions fl/pic, clar, ob, bsn, 2hn, perc, harp, strings, solo voice (Medium)
-
H. Leslie Adams LOVE SONG -
SATB, piano
H. Leslie Adams RIGHTEOUS MAN (Cantata) 0121 2000 timp, perc (2), hp, strings, SATB choir (8pt)
-
H. Leslie Adams THERE WAS AN OLD MAN SATB, pf
-
H. Leslie Adams REMEMB'RING, REJOICING -
SATB, piano
H. Leslie Adams BLAKE - the Opera - full score 3332 4331 Timp, Perc (3), Afro-Cuban Drum Ensemble, harp, organ(keyboard), strings
-
H. Leslie Adams BLAKE 20 COME NOW, MY PEOPLE - Chorus SATB Choir, Tenor, and Piano
-
H. Leslie Adams DUNBAR SONGS - orchestrated version -
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon; 2 horns; timpani; percussion; harp; strings; high voice
H. Leslie Adams NIGHTSONGS - Orchestral version (Mezzo range) small orchestra: 1.1.1.1 - 2.0.0.0 - timp.perc.hp.strings
fl, ob, clar, bsn, 2hn, timp, percussion, voice, harp, 5-part strings
H. Leslie Adams HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID -
SATB,pf
H. Leslie Adams PSALM 121 -
SATB, pf
H. Leslie Adams SENCE YOU WENT AWAY - choral version -
treble voices SSS, with piano; optional cello
H. Leslie Adams MEADOWLARK (See Dunbar Songs) -
-
H. Leslie Adams BLAKE 10 Lawd, send your holy angel - Chorus SATB choir, 2 pianos
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Additional Works