Award-winning composer and classical guitarist James Lentini is a recipient of the Andrés Segovia International Composition Prize, the Atwater-Kent Composition Award (first prize), the McHugh Composition Prize, a grant from “Meet the Composer,” a Hanson Institute of American Music composer-performer grant, and multiple awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and his compositions have been performed and recorded by international ensembles, including the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Universidad de Concepción (Chile), and the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra. His Concerto for Guitar and Strings is published by Doberman-Yppan, and was recorded by guitarist Iliana Matos with the Zagreb Festival Orchestra and released on the Navona Records label in 2019.
Lentini’s composition for solo guitar, Westward Voyage, was commissioned by guitarist William Kanengiser of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and is published by Editorial de Música Española Contemporánea (EMEC). The piece was awarded the Andrés Segovia Composition Prize in 2002 at the International Andrés Segovia Guitar Competition held in La Herradura, Spain. His recordings appear on the Azica, Capstone, CRS, Naxos, and Navona labels. His suite for guitar entitled The Four Seasons for Guitar is published by Mel Bay, and is recorded on an album that includes duo performances with his wife, soprano Dana Lentini. Gramophone Magazine has called James Lentini an “American classical music success story,” while calling his composition Scenes from Sedona “…perhaps the best piece for viola and cello since Beethoven’s ‘Eyeglasses’ Duet.”
Lentini studied composition with Morten Lauridsen and Robert Linn at the University of Southern California (D.M.A. 1990). He later became Professor of Music and Associate Department Chair at Wayne State University (1988-2003) and was the Founding Dean of the School of Art, Media, and Music at The College of New Jersey (2003-2007). He subsequently served as Dean of the College of Creative Arts at Miami University, OH (2007-2103), and was Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Oakland University from 2013-2020. In December, 2019, Dr. Lentini was named as President of Molloy College for an appointment beginning in July, 2020.