Earl Lee — a 2021 Solti Foundation U.S Career Assistance Award recipient who was recently appointed assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — is a renowned Korean-born Canadian performer who has captivated audiences worldwide. His passion for music is reflected in his diverse career as both a conductor and cellist. His recent and upcoming engagements include not only his New York Philharmonic, debut, but also the San Francisco Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, New Japan Philharmonic, Gangnam Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, and others. He recently concluded his position as the associate conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, where he led various concerts and its programming. He also served as the resident conductor of the Toronto Symphony from 2015 to 2018.
In all of his professional activities, Lee seeks out ways to connect with fellow musicians and audiences on a personal level. His concerts to date in Canada, the US, China, and South Korea have often been accompanied by outreach events held beyond the concert hall, in the community at large. He mentored young musicians as former artistic director and conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and as music director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.
As a cellist, Lee has performed at festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Caramoor Rising Stars, and Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and has toured with Gary Burton and Chick Corea as a guest member of the Harlem String Quartet and Musicians from Marlboro. He is currently a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), a conductor-less chamber ensemble.
Earl Lee holds degrees in cello, from the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, and in conducting, from Manhattan School of Music and the New England Conservatory. The New York resident was the recipient of the 50th Anniversary Heinz Unger Award from the Ontario Arts Council in 2018 and was awarded a Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Scholarship by Kurt Masur, and the Ansbacher Fellowship by the American Austrian Foundation and members of the Vienna Philharmonic.