A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.”
In addition to her dynamic performing career, Lee was recently appointed to the faculty of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin. She is the artistic director of Emerald City Music, a chamber music series she co-founded in 2015, that presents authentically unique concert experiences and bridges the divide between the highest caliber classical music and the many diverse communities of the Puget Sound region of Washington State. She is also a member of Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara.
Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, Hawai’i Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Nordic Chamber Orchestra of Sweden, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall’s Salon de Virtuosi, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Ravinia Festival, Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live, (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery.
An accomplished chamber musician, Kristin Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at Lincoln Center in New York and on tour with CMS throughout each season. For seven years, Lee was a principal artist of Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara, sitting as The Bernard Gondos Chair. She is also concertmaster of the Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami, Florida, and is a member of Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse, a hybrid chamber-jazz ensemble that explores the very foundations of group improvisation and spontaneous composition. Lee has also appeared in chamber music programs at Music@Menlo, La Jolla Festival, Medellín Festicámara of Colombia, the El Sistema Chamber Music festival of Venezuela, the Sarasota Music Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern of Germany, the Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, among many others.
Recent and upcoming highlights include performances presented by the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra, Olympia Symphony, Chamber Music Sedona, Newport Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Parlance Chamber Concerts, Moab Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards, Lyra Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Adelphi University, and many others, as well as performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In December 2021, Lee hosted a panel for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Musical Heritage Series, honoring her teacher and legendary violin pedagogue, Dorothy DeLay. Itzhak Perlman, Toby Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, and Sandra Rivers joined the panel to pay tribute to DeLay.
Lee’s performances have been broadcast on PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center,” the Kennedy Center Honors, WFMT Chicago’s “Rising Stars” series, WRTI in Philadelphia, and on WQXR in New York. She also appeared on Perlman in Shanghai, a nationally broadcast PBS documentary that chronicled a historic cross‑cultural exchange between the Perlman Music Program and Shanghai Conservatory. She made the world premiere recording of Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto, written for her, which won a Juno Award and is available on Naxos.
Lee’s many honors include awards from the 2015 Trondheim Chamber Music Competition, 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, 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 United States 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. 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 Perlman’s studio as a Starling Fellow. She has served on the faculties of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, the LG Chamber Music School in Seoul, Korea, El Sistema’s chamber music festival in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival.