Named the recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Korean-American violinist Kristin Lee has been praised by The Strad for “mastery of tone,” and “one of the most satisfying concerts in years.” A violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique, Ms. Lee enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator.
Ms. Lee’s recent engagements include her debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and at Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, recitals in New York’s Merkin Concert Hall and Florida’s Kravis Center, and appearances with the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She recently curated a program that premiered at Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live, in which she commissioned composer/performers to write works for the violin and steelpan, guitar, theremin, spoken word, and carnatic South Indian singing. The program was also performed at New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge. She also tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, in California, New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
A winner of Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions and a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition, Ms. Lee has appeared as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, the Ural Philharmonic of Russia, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony of Korea, and many others. She has appeared on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum, Steinway Hall’s Salon de Virtuosi, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery. She has been featured on the Ravinia Festival’s Rising Stars Series, and has toured throughout northern Italy. In April 2012, Ms. Lee organized a memorial concert at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center for the victims of the Oikos University shooting.
An accomplished chamber musician, Ms. Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, following her completion of a three-year residency as a CMS Two artist. This season, she makes her debut appearance with the Camerata Pacifica of Santa Barbara. She has appeared at the Ravinia Festival, Music@Menlo, La Jolla Festival, Medellín Festicámara of Colombia, the El Sistema Chamber Music festival of Venezuela, and the Sarasota Music Festival, among many others. She is the concertmaster of the groundbreaking Metropolis Ensemble, with whom she premiered Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto, written for her, and which appears on Ms. Fung’s CD Dreamscapes, released for the Naxos label CD in 2012.
Ms. Lee’s performances have been broadcast on WQXR in New York, on Robert Sherman’s “Young Artists Showcase,” and with guitarist Mattias Jacobsson on Annie Bergen’s “The Office Hours.” Other broadcasts include PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center,” the Kennedy Center Honors, and a guest artist performance on WFMT Chicago’s “Rising Stars” series. She also appeared on a nationally broadcast PBS documentary entitled PBS in Shanghai, that chronicled a historic cross-cultural exchange between the Perlman Music Program and Shanghai Conservatory.
Ms. Lee has received many honors, including awards from the 2011 Trio di Trieste Premio International Competition, the SYLFF Fellowship, Dorothy DeLay Scholarship, the Aspen Music Festival’s Violin Competition, the New Jersey Young Artists’ Competition, and the Salon de Virtuosi Scholarship Foundation. She is also the unprecedented First Prize winner of three concerto competitions at The Juilliard School—in the Pre-College Division in 1997 and 1999, and in the College Division in 2007.
Born in Seoul, Ms. Lee began studying the violin at the age of five, and within one year won First Prize at the prestigious Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the U.S. and continued her musical studies under Sonja Foster. Two years later, she became a student of Catherine Cho and Dorothy DeLay in The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. In January 2000, she was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman, after he heard her perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Juilliard’s Pre-College Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein, and served as an assistant teacher for Mr. Perlman’s studio as a Starling Fellow. She is a member of the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and has served on the faculties of the LG Chamber Music School in Seoul, Korea, El Sistema’s chamber music festival in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival.