H. Leslie Adams


H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932) is the winner of the 2015 Cleveland Arts Prize.  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 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. Adams' 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.

Recordings of Adams' music include "Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams" first released in January 2001, featuring the internationally-known 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 cycle of 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 twenty-five BYU Pianists. 

Nightsongs and Collected Songs on poetry by African-American poets, and Daybirth, with poetry of Joette McDonald, are all American Highlights series publications from the American Composers Alliance. 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 was commissioned by the Mirror Visions Ensemble in 2019 and continues an active schedule as an organist and composer.  

Links to recordings below:

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

"Twelve Etudes"  [Maria Corley, pianist]

Twenty-Six Etudes for Piano - by BYU Pianists - playlist

We, Too, Sing America - episode 7 featuring H. Leslie Adams

***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

158 title(s)
H. Leslie Adams BLAKE - Piano Vocal Score - 18 selections solo and ensemble voices, with keyboard accompaniment
H. Leslie Adams Etude in D-Sharp Minor (Part II, No. 3) Solo Piano
H. Leslie Adams BLAKE 06 ARIA - Our Losses Will Be Great (Stevens) Baritone and Piano
H. Leslie Adams L'Extase d'Amour (The Ecstasy of Love) - Bassoon and Piano Bassoon and Piano
H. Leslie Adams BLAKE Prelude to the opera - orchestral 2fl+pic,2ob+eh,2cl+bscl, 2bsn - 4 hn, 3tpt, 2tb+bstbn, 1tba, timp, perc(3), hp, strings
H. Leslie Adams Sence You Went Away (for Mezzo and Cello) Mezzo-Soprano and Cello
H. Leslie Adams From a hotel room (from the song cycle Daybirth) voice and piano
H. Leslie Adams Daybirth (single song from the collection Daybirth) voice (medium-high), piano
H. Leslie Adams DAYBIRTH - 18 songs collection Voice and Piano
H. Leslie Adams Night Song for Flute and Harp Flute and Harp
H. Leslie Adams COLLECTED SONGS Voice and Piano
H. Leslie Adams NIGHTSONGS: SENCE YOU WENT AWAY- for Voice and Chamber Orchestra (G Major) Voice and Chamber Orchestra
1111 - 2000 - voice solo - strings
H. Leslie Adams HEART OF A WOMAN - duo version Tenor and Baritone Tenor, Baritone, Piano
H. Leslie Adams NIGHTSONGS: SENCE YOU WENT AWAY - for Voice and Chamber Orchestra (F Major) Voice and Chamber Orchestra
1111 - 2000 - voice solo - strings
H. Leslie Adams INTERMEZZO for violin and piano
vln, pf
H. Leslie Adams Heart of a Woman from song cycle NIGHTSONGS Voice and Piano
H. Leslie Adams NIGHTSONGS - 6 Songs for Voice and Piano - HIGH - MED - LOW Voice and Piano - Editions for High, Medium, and Low Voices Available
H. Leslie Adams Night Song (song from the cycle NIGHTSONGS) voice, piano
H. Leslie Adams DANZA DI TRE BAMBOLE trio: piccolo, flute, piano
H. Leslie Adams GRAND MARCH for trumpet and piano Trumpet and Piano
H. Leslie Adams DREAM SONG voice and piano Voice and Piano (High, Medium, and Low Voice versions)
H. Leslie Adams COMING BACK TO CLEVELAND Voice and Piano
H. Leslie Adams Creole Girl (from the song cycle NIGHTSONGS) voice and piano
H. Leslie Adams Etudes for Solo Piano (Selections - Ten Etudes) Solo Piano

Additional Works