Rowland is a composer, arranger, orchestrator and musical director whose work encompasses musical theatre, television and concert music. He has composed much orchestral, choral and chamber music including a Violin Concerto, Oboe Sonata, Celesta Concerto, Piano Trio and Requiem. The Requiem is published by Edition Peters and has been featured on the BBC Radio 3 series ”The Choir”. He has composed scores for over twenty short films including the Christmas favourite The Little Reindeer and is regarded as one of the country’s principal composers specialising in animation. His TV credits as composer include more than 12 animated series for children, including the evergreen 64 Zoo Lane, which, for the last 14 years, has been broadcast in 20 languages in over 40 countries, and Cloudbabies. Other TV credits include Everything’s Rosie, Pablo the Little Red Fox, Engie Benjy, Henry’s Cat, Captain Abercromby, Crapston Villas, Barking, The Melinda Messenger Show, Families at War, and Bang Bang It’s Reeves and Mortimer.


Rowland Lee was born in southern England in 1960. From 1979-84 he was a student at the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied composition under Joseph Horovitz, piano with Ian Lake and conducting with Norman Del Mar. GRSM Hons. 2.1. President of the RCM Students’ Association, 1982-3 (the College’s centenary year). Since graduating, he has successfully pursued a career which ranges from the composition and conducting of serious concert works, through work as an orchestrator and musical director of musical theatre and Ballet, to the composition of soundtracks for television and film.

He has composed much orchestral, choral and chamber music including a Violin Concerto (commissioned by Stephen Bryant, the leader of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and also performed by David Juritz, the leader of the London Mozart Players), Centennial Overture, Wind Quintet, Bassoon Quintet, Oboe Sonata, Piano Trio, the Warleigh Requiem (which he conducted live on BBC radio South West), and also the Crusaid Requiem, commissioned by the national aids charity of that name.

He has been described as one of the UK’s principal composers for animation, and among his 250-plus TV composition credits are the series Crapston Villas, Margaret Thatcher: Where Am I Now? Stylissimo and the children’s series Henry’s Cat, Captain Abercromby, Engie Benjy, Wilf, the Witch’s Dog and BAFTA award-winning 64 Zoo Lane and Pablo the Little Red Fox. He has also composed scores for over twenty short films including the Christmas favourite The Little Reindeer. His work has been regularly broadcast in over 60 countries, with some of his songs being recorded in over 20 languages.

His work for Matthew Bourne’s dance company AMP includes an original score for their BBC2 ballet Drip – a Narcissistic Love Story and Orchestrations for Town and Country, and their internationally celebrated productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker! He has also conducted Nutcracker! at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London with the New London Orchestra and Swan Lake in the opera houses of Ferrara, Tel Aviv, Cologne and Amsterdam (Caree Circus) with a variety of local orchestras. This production of Swan Lake is the first successful commercial production of a major ballet in the UK since Diaghileff’s visit in the 1920s, a situation made possible by Rowland’s masterly reduced orchestration which has confused many ballet critics and reviewers into thinking that they were hearing Tchaikovsky’s original score. He has recently completed another reduced orchestration of Swan Lake for the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s current tour, and the adaptation of another Tchaikovsky score, the Theme and Variations from the Suite in G, as choreographed by Balanchine, for the Royal Ballet of Flanders.