A current Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and former Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Earl Lee is a renowned Korean-Canadian performer who has captivated audiences worldwide. Earl’s passion for music is reflected in his diverse career as both a conductor and cellist. Highlights of his 2019-20 season include leading the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, return engagements with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and debut performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Earl was the recipient of the 50th Anniversary Heinz Unger Award from the Ontario Arts Council in 2018. In 2013, Earl was one of two performers to receive the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Scholarship, chosen by a renowned conductor Kurt Masur to travel to Leipzig and study the music and life of Felix Mendelssohn. That same year, Lee was awarded the Ansbacher Fellowship by the American Austrian Foundation and members of the Vienna Philharmonic, and spent six weeks at the Salzburg Festival in Austria.
In all of his professional activities, Earl seeks ways to connect with fellow musicians and audiences on a personal level. His concerts to date in Canada, the U.S., China and South Korea have often been accompanied by outreach events beyond the concert hall in the community at large. He has taken great pleasure in mentoring young musicians as former Artistic Director and Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Youth Orchestra.
As a cellist, Earl toured with the acclaimed duet of Gary Burton & Chick Corea as a guest member of the Harlem String Quartet in 2012, performing in notable venues including Symphony Hall in Boston, Maison symphonique de Montréal, and the iconic Blue Note jazz club in New York City. Earl has also toured the United States as part of ensembles including Musicians from Marlboro, and his performance frequently appears on air such as American Public Media’s Saint Paul Sunday. Earl has performed at prestigious summer festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Caramoor Rising Stars, and Ravinia’s Steans Institute. He is currently a member of a conductor-less chamber ensemble, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO).
Earl has degrees in cello from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. He began his conducting studies in 2010 with Ignat Solzhenitsyn, and received his Masters in 2013 from the Manhattan School of Music with George Manahan. Earl pursued postgraduate studies in conducting at the New England Conservatory with Hugh Wolff prior to his tenure with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Updated November 2019. Please discard all previously dated materials.