Najee Greenlee

Flint, Michigan

Rice University, Bachelor of Music, 2026

Najee Greenlee is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree studying at Rice University with Richie Hawley. This past summer, he attended the Aspen Music Festival and performed with the Conducting Academy Orchestra as a recipient of a fellowship, studying with Michael Rusinek and Laura Ardan. In 2023, Najee was a winner of the Shepherd School of Music Concerto Competition, performing Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto.

What inspired you to become a musician?
I came across a recording of Mozart’s Gran Partita in middle school and knew from that moment that I wanted to play music like that for the rest of my life.

Who are your all-time favorite composers and/or pieces? Why?
Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, and Claude Debussy.

What is an interesting fact about you and/or your instrument?
I switched to the bassoon after a year of playing clarinet but changed schools and had to go back to playing the clarinet. Luckily, I was saved from a life of making reeds.

When taking a break from music-making, what is your favorite thing to do?
Biking, watching movies, and spending time in nature.

Why did you choose the NRO?
I choose the NRO for the opportunity to perform at the frequency of a professional orchestra and spend a summer enjoying the mountains.