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Earl Lee

Assistant Conductor, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Anna E. Finnerty chair, endowed in perpetuity

Earl Lee portrait against a black background


Winner of the 2022 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Earl Lee is a renowned Korean-Canadian conductor who has captivated audiences worldwide. Currently assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, his appearances in the 2021-22 season included leading the San Francisco Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Ann Arbor Symphony; conducting the New York Philharmonic in its annual Lunar New Year Gala; and making debuts with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam as a participant in the Ammodo Conducting masterclasses led by Fabio Luisi. In the 2022-23 season he returned to the San Francisco Symphony and made his Boston Symphony subscription debut.

Beginning with the 2022-23 season, Lee joined the Ann Arbor Symphony as Music Director.

Lee previously served as associate conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony as well as resident conductor of the Toronto Symphony from 2015 to 2018.

In all of his professional activities, Lee 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 to 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 Youth Symphony Orchestra; he is a regular guest conductor with the orchestras of North America’s top music schools such as Manhattan School of Music and the New England, San Francisco, and Royal conservatories.

As a cellist, Lee has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Caramoor Rising Stars, and Ravinia’s Steans Institute. He has toured as a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, with Musicians from Marlboro, and with Gary Burton & Chick Corea as a guest member of the Harlem String Quartet.

Lee has degrees in cello from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, as well as degrees in conducting from Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory. He was the recipient of the 50th Anniversary Heinz Unger Award from the Ontario Arts Council in 2018; won the Solti Career Assistance Award in 2021; has been awarded a Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Scholarship by Kurt Masur; and received the Ansbacher Fellowship, from the American Austrian Foundation and members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He lives in New York City with his wife and their daughter.

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