Named the recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Korean-American violinist Kristin Lee has been praised by The Strad for her “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 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. Highlights for 2016-17 season includes her debut with the Tacoma Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Nordic Chamber Orchestra of Sweden, and reengagement with Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic. She also tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in over 12 states in the United States.
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, 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. She recently curated a program that premiered at Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live and New York’s (le) Poisson Rouge, in which she commissioned 5 new works for the violin and various instruments.
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. She has appeared with Camerata Pacifica, 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. This violin concerto was named as the 2013 Juno Award winner.
Ms. Lee’s performances have been broadcasted 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 Perlman 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 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, 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 the co-founder and artistic director of Emerald City Music, a chamber music series based out in Seattle. She has also 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.