Ian Lester is an award-winning composer, euphonium player, and teacher currently pursuing his Doctorate degree in euphonium performance and Master’s degree in composition at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Ian received his Bachelor’s degree in euphonium performance and pursued additional composition studies at Oakland University in his home state of Michigan. At Oakland, Ian was principal euphonium in the school’s top wind ensemble and its award-winning brass band. In 2014, Ian was named a national finalist for the M.T.N.A. Senior Brass Solo Competition, and the following year, was a finalist for the 2015 Oakland University Orchestral Concerto Competition. In 2017, Ian was named the winner of the Michigan M.T.N.A. Young Artist Brass Solo Competition and runner-up for the East Central Regional Competition. Ian enjoyed a successful chamber music experience at OU, having been named a winner of the 2014 and 2017 Oakland University Distinguished Student in Chamber Music award along with receiving 2nd Place in the Adult Chamber Music Competition at both the 2016 and 2017 North American Brass Band Championships in Fort Wayne, Indiana with his tuba quartet Tubas Ignis. At UMKC, Ian served as the graduate euphonium teaching assistant from 2018-2020 and is a member of the Conservatory’s prestigious Wind Symphony and Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble. Ian is principal euphonium of the Fountain City Academy Brass Band and is a substitute for the Fountain City Brass Band. In 2019, Ian won 1st prize in the North American Brass Band Championship’s Adult Baritone/Euphonium Slow Melody Solo Competition.
Ian is also an avid composer. His works have been premiered by performers such as North Texas Euphonium Quartet, In Motus Tuba Quartet, Steve Darling, Jonathan W. Voth, Richard Demy, Irving Ray, Patrick Oliverio, Louis Setzer, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, Conviviality Trio, Tubas Ignis, the Flex Saxophone Quartet, the Oakland University Brass Band, and the Oakland University Wind Symphony in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Fort Myer, the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and Oakland University. In December of 2016, Ian’s composition Sonata for Tuba ‘Hades God of the Underworld’ won the Pershing’s Own U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Composition Competition where the version for contrabass tuba received its world premiere at the 2017 Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Arlington, Virginia. The bass tuba version of Hades was premiered by Steve Darling in October of 2017 and can be heard on his debut CD Dualities. In June of 2018, Ian was named the winner of the highly competitive inaugural North Texas Euphonium Quartet Composition Competition with his piece Reminiscence and Death Machine, which can be heard on the quartet’s debut CD Machines. In 2020, two of Ian’s works, INTO THE MADHOUSE for solo tuba and Reflect, Refract for solo euphonium were selected as honorable mentions for the inaugural Leonard Falcone Call for Solo Works.