Benjamin Lees was born in 1924 and reared in San Francisco where he received his early musical education. His college years were spent at the University of Southern California; later George Antheil became his mentor and guided his road to advanced composition. He is the recipient of a Fromm Foundation Award, and in 1954, the first of two Guggenheim Fellowhips. In addition, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Copley Foundation Award, the Sir Arnold Bax medal and the U.N.E.S.C.O. Award. In 1962 he joined the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory as Professor of Composition. In the years following, he received major performances of his work by the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 1994, Andrew Litton conducted the premiere of "Echoes of Normandy" commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to commemorte the 50th anniversary of D-Day.