Conductor
Biography

Canadian conductor Richard Lee has spent his life immersed in music. His mother sat him down at a toy piano when he was three years old; he graduated to a real piano at the age of five, and two years later he began to study the violin as well. By the time he was fifteen, under the tutelage of Daryl Irvine, Richard successfully passed, with honors, the Grade X piano exam at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Shortly thereafter, the violin became his focus and within two years, he also passed his Grade X violin exam.

Maestro Lee has been the Music Director of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra since 2012. Previously he served as Conductor in Residence of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor with the Quebec and Thunder Bay symphony orchestras, and has taught at Université Laval and Lakehead University, directing the Lakehead University Wind Ensemble. Since 1997 he has served as Music Director of the Korean Canadian Symphony Orchestra, based in Toronto. Guest engagements have included the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, as well as a tour of Mexico with I Musici de Montréal. He has also worked with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, the Quebec Bach Festival Orchestra, the Huntsville Festival Orchestra, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Filharmonie Bohuslava Martinů in the Czech Republic. His work as a conductor has been broadcast on the CBC/Radio-Canada. As a choral conductor, he was the music director of the English Language Choir at Toronto Korean United Church. Not forsaking his love of string performance, he was principal violist of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra for three years.

After first declaring a science major, Richard Lee changed his course of study to pursue a degree in Music Performance at the University of Toronto where, as both a violinist and a violist, he tutored with Lorand Fenyves, Rennie Regehr and Ken Perkins. He simultaneously studied conducting with Pierre Hétu. Further studies and mentoring in conducting ensued, most notably with Yoav Talmi, Jorma Panula, Gustav Meier, Kirk Trevor, and Geoffrey Moull. At university, he was the recipient of several awards including the Kathleen Parlow and Nick Gelmych Violin Scholarships and an Eaton Graduate Fellowship. As the Victor Feldbrill Fellow in orchestral conducting, he obtained a master’s degree from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Raffi Armenian.

A strong advocate of music education, Richard Lee spent five years as a music teacher for the Toronto District Schools. Identifying himself as musician, news junkie, and connoisseur of fine ales and lagers, he currently maintains residences in Quebec City and Toronto where, in his spare time, he frequents local bike and hiking trails, reads voraciously, and roots for the Toronto Raptors.

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