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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » L » Lentini, James

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James Lentini (b1958)

James Lentini was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where his earliest musical experiences included singing as a boy chorister in elementary school and taking up the guitar at the age of eight. Heavily influenced by the Beatles and other rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s, he developed virtuoso rock guitar skills while playing and recording in Detroit bands from the age of fifteen into his twenties. Lentini developed an interest in the classical guitar and entered Wayne State University in Detroit as a classical guitar and composition major, studying guitar with the legendary Joe Fava and composition with James Hartway. He went on to study composition with Jere Hutcheson, Robert Linn, and Morten Lauridsen, earning a M.M. in composition at Michigan State University and a D.M.A. at the University of Southern California. Extending his interest in writing music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, Lentini developed a style that is noted for its imaginative structure and substance and for deft handling of instruments through creative orchestration. His compositions have been described as “some of the most alluring contemporary music you’re apt to find” by veteran music critic John Guinn and the publication 21st-Century Music has called his music “strikingly original.”

– James Lentini



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