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Conductors

Christopher Warren-Green, Music Director


Now in his eleventh season with the Charlotte Symphony, Music Director Christopher Warren-Green also serves as Music Director of the London Chamber Orchestra.

Warren-Green has worked extensively in North America, with key engagements including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit, Houston, St. Louis, Toronto, Milwaukee, Seattle and Vancouver symphony orchestras, the Minnesota Orchestra and Washington's National Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, he has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Iceland Symphony, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Tampere Philharmonic amongst others. And further afield, Warren-Green works with orchestras such as the NHK, Singapore and Sapporo symphony orchestras and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. 

Maestro Warren-Green returns to the podium in Charlotte to open the 2020-21 season with virtual programs featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Brahms, and Dvorak. He also leads the CSO in "A Concert for Charlotte" at Truist Field, an event designed to celebrate Charlotte and help bring the community back together through music.

A product of community music education, Warren-Green plays a key role in the CSO's educational efforts, including two youth orchestras and Project Harmony, an El Sistema-based, nationally funded program providing afterschool music ensemble training in high-need areas.

In addition to his international commitments, he has been invited to conduct at the wedding services of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in 2005, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey in 2011 and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 2018. He conducted the London Chamber Orchestra on the occasion of HM The Queen's 80th birthday and the Philharmonia Orchestra for Her Majesty's 90th birthday concert at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, as well as HRH The Prince of Wales' 60th birthday concert in Buckingham Palace.

A violinist by training, Warren-Green began his career at the age of 19 as concertmaster of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, followed by the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, having been a Professor there for eight years, and has appeared numerous times on television and radio. He has recorded extensively for Sony, Philips, Virgin EMI, Chandos, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon, and records with the London Chamber Orchestra for Signum Classics.

Christopher James Lees, Resident Conductor


Emerging American conductor Christopher James Lees brings passionate and nuanced orchestral performances to the stage, a fierce commitment to contemporary music, and a natural charisma to audiences all around the world.

In 2018, Mr. Lees began an appointment as Resident Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra. In addition to the more than 50 annual concert appearances with the CSO, he has stepped in to conduct Subscription Classical performances on four occasions, including a gala weekend with Grammy Award winning artist and Jazz legend Branford Marsalis in May 2021.

An active guest conductor, Mr. Lees has returned for performances with the Los Angeles and Rochester Philharmonics, the Houston, Detroit, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Portland, and Flint Symphonies, and conducted debuts with the Indianapolis, Kansas City, Toledo, and Vermont Symphonies.

Additional engagements have taken him to the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orchestra de Chambre de Paris, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and at the Music in the Mountains Festival & Festival Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordão in Brazil.

Only the second American Gustavo Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mr. Lees made his debut with the orchestra in April 2013 and returned for concerts in February 2015.

With the New York Philharmonic, St. Louis & Atlanta Symphonies, among others, Mr. Lees has served as assistant conductor for the world's leading conductors, including: Gustavo Dudamel, Paavo Järvi, Herbert Blomstedt, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, Stéphane Danève, Susanna Mälkki, and Nicholas McGegan.

A recipient of a Career Assistance Grant from the Solti Foundation US, Mr. Lees was also chosen for showcase on the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation National Conductor Preview, hosted by the League of American Orchestras and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

A dedicated advocate for music of our time, Mr. Lees has premiered more than one hundred fifty new works by a diverse range of composers, and collaborated closely with Pulitzer Prize winners John Adams, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Joseph Schwantner, Steven Stucky, Caroline Shaw, Roger Reynolds, and Julia Wolfe.

An equally passionate advocate for music education, Mr. Lees has brought inspirational energy to student orchestras across the country, from the Colburn School to the New England Conservatory, and previously served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. 

A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Lees holds bachelors and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and has studied conducting with Larry Rachleff and Robert Spano, as well as having participated in masterclasses with Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gustav Meier, and Jorma Panula.

When not performing, Mr. Lees can be found building Lego sets with his six year old son, reading the stack of books by his nightstand, or training outdoors for his next 10K road race.