Photo: Donna Santos

Photo: Donna Santos

A native of Vancouver, Canada, violinist Byungchan Lee made his concerto debut at age 12. Since then, he has garnered international recognition as a prizewinner at the Yuri Yankelevitch International Violin Competition, as one of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30, and for performing alongside Stevie Wonder for the Songs in the Key of Life tour at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Previously, Lee was named one of CBC Radio’s “Next!” classical music stars and recorded two national broadcasts for CBC/Radio-Canada. 

Lee has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as a concerto soloist and was featured with the McGill Symphony Orchestra as a soloist for winning the McGill concerto competition. He was re-invited as a guest soloist for the eighty-fifth anniversary gala for the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra as a two-time winner of the VYSO concerto competition at the Chan Center for the Performing Arts. He has performed a solo recital at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in Toronto, presented by the Canadian Opera Company, and has been invited to perform at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art’s Salle Bourgie (Arte Musica Foundation), Théâtre Maisonneuve (Fondation Place des Arts) and at Centre d’Arts Orford.

An avid chamber musician, Lee regularly appears as a guest artist at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Lee attended the McGill International String Quartet Academy and has worked with the most renowned string quartet musicians of our time, including Günter Pichler and Gerhard Schulz of the Alban Berg Quartet, and the late Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. As a founding member of the Ansonia Quartet, Lee raised $10,000 in nine days through a successful crowd-sourced fundraising campaign to carry out an international tour to Japan in 2017. The quartet has held residencies at Summer in JAPAN performing in Oita and Tokyo, as well as at the Lunenberg Academy of Music Performance working with the Dover Quartet. The quartet appeared in featured performances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, and premiered works at the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden, New York City Ballet and Juilliard’s 2018 Focus! Festival.

Lee served as concertmaster of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games closing ceremony. He also served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra, McGill Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Roosevelt Island Orchestra, and as principal second violin of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra. During summer 2017 he was invited to participate in a Juilliard/Sibelius Academy joint-orchestra tour celebrating Finland’s centenary culminating in performances at the Helsinki Music Centre, Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, and Alice Tully Hall in New York led by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Lee received his Master of Music (2018) from The Juilliard School graduating with a Norman Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant. He received his Bachelor of Music (2015) and Artist Diploma (2016) from McGill University where he was a recipient of the Lloyd Carr-Harris Scholarship and the Golden Violin Award – one of the most significant prizes in Music in Canada. He was fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival, Music Masters Course Japan, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and participated in the 2018 New York String Orchestra Seminar. He served as mentor/teaching fellow at Madeline Island Chamber Music in 2017. 

Lee plays on a ca. 1869 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin and Vuillaume model bow on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. He acknowledges the support of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, British Columbia Arts Council and the Vancouver Korean-Canadian Scholarship Foundation. Recognizing him for his leadership in music, Lee has been invited to the Artist as Citizen Conference, served as a Gluck Fellow and holds a lifetime Sylff Fellowship.

The 2019 season includes performances in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Los Angeles, Houston, North Carolina, Montreal and Vancouver.