Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Orchestra
This work was a 1976 Bicentennial commission from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and was premiered that year with the conductor Aldo Ceccato conducting. On September 23 and 24, 1988, it received stunning performances by Catherine Comet and the Grand Rapids Symphony. Confirming the strength of this work, Richard Devinney, writing in the Grand Rapids Press, reported, "The best music and the best performances of the evening came in Benjamin Lees" Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Orchestra. Showcasing five soloists in front of a large orchestra is a challenge for any composer, but Lees did it superbly. The members of the orchestra's Woodwind Quintet played their difficult parts with the amazing level of finesse and virtuosity that local audiences take for granted. The collective cadenza near the end of the work was spectacular."