Dr. George Lam
Associate Professor
Theory and Musicianship
Office: AST816

Hong Kong-born composer George Tsz-Kwan Lam (b. 1981) grew up in both Hong Kong and Winthrop, Massachusetts. George Lam is Associate Professor at the Department of Music, Hong Kong Baptist University, and has previously served as Assistant Professor of Music at York College, The City University of New York. George is also a founding member of the artist-run new opera ensemble Rhymes With Opera based in New York City.

George works primarily on projects that intersect music, theater, and placemaking. Recent works include The Emigrants commissioned by New Morse Code, Shrewsbury Fair (2017) for Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury, MA, A Story, Again, Misremembered (2017) written for the 2017 International Trombone Festival, String Quartet (2013) for the Romer String Quartet (Hong Kong), Theseus and the Minotaur (2014) for the Asian Young Musicians Connection (Taipei, Taiwan), Ross McElwee’s “Sherman’s March” (2014) for the Black House Collective (Kansas City, MO), Citadel (2015) for Synergy Percussion (Sydney, Australia), and Carmina Burana (2015) for Hong Kong Voices.

Operatic Works

As the 2018 Composer-in-Residence for the Chautauqua Opera Company, George created two works for voice and piano (Sissieretta Jones, Carnegie Hall, 1902 / O patria mia on a poem by Tyehimba Jess; Such Sweet Sorrow on a poem by Allison Joseph) and a new work for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (Underwater Acoustics on a poem by Rajiv Mohabir). George’s recent operas include the 2018 collaborative opera Rumpelstiltskin, created with co-composer Ruby Fulton and librettist John Clum, the 2015 one-act opera Heartbreak Express with a libretto by John Clum, and the 2011 one-act opera The Persistence of Smoke, with a libretto by North Carolina playwright John Justice that focused on the once-thriving cigarette industry in Durham, North Carolina.


George Lam’s music has been performed by the Chautauqua Opera Company (Chautauqua, NY), Gotham Chamber Opera (New York, NY), Rhymes With Opera (New York, NY), Christ Church United Methodist (New York, NY), Emerging Voices Project (New York, NY), Contemporary Musiking (Hong Kong), Volti (San Francisco, CA), American Opera Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Red Clay Saxophone Quartet (Greensboro, NC), AM/PM Saxophone Quartet, Boston University Concert Band, Charles River Wind Ensemble (Boston, MA), Aspen Contemporary Ensemble and Hong Kong Voices. From 2009 to 2012, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and conductor Yip Wing-sie premiered three orchestral works and presented the Asian premiere of Variations On (2006).

Fellowships and Residencies

George is the recipient of a Queens Arts Council new works grant and a PSC-CUNY Research Foundation award in support of his documentary chamber work The Emigrants and his percussion duo Theseus and the Minotaur (2014). In addition, George was the recipient of an American Music Center grant for his orchestral work The Queen’s Gramophone (2009), as well as the Evan V. Frankel Fellowship in Humanities at Duke University. Past fellowships and residencies include the Aspen Music Festival Schumann Fellowship, the Dartington International Summer School Angus Allnatt Foundation Fellowship, American Opera Projects’ “Composers & The Voice” workshop series, the Virginia Arts Festival John Duffy Composers Institute, and the Volti Choral Arts Laboratory commissioning and residency program, for which he composed the choral work Words Become Unlatched. In 2011, George served as the Composer-In-Residence at the inaugural Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists in St Louis, MO, where cellist Sara Sitzer premiered the Suite for Cello.

George has studied with composers Charles Fussell, Martin Amlin, Christopher Theofanidis, Nicholas Maw, Stephen Jaffe, and Scott Lindroth. George holds a PhD in music from Duke University, an MMus from the Peabody Conservatory, and a BMus from Boston University.

Personal Website: https://www.gtlam.com

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