The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce the appointment of Earl Lee as our next Music Director, ushering in a new era of visionary leadership in the arts, culture and community of Southeastern Michigan.
The product of a three-year international search that evaluated hundreds of candidates, Lee’s appointment comes as the orchestra prepares to launch its new season in September, presenting unforgettable symphonic experiences and internationally acclaimed soloists in Ann Arbor’s finest venues. As the orchestra’s fourteenth director since its founding in 1928, Lee takes the helm of one of the Midwest’s finest regional ensembles as we prepare to celebrate our 100th anniversary.
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 21/22 season include leading the San Francisco Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Ann Arbor Symphony in subscription; the New York Philharmonic in its annual Lunar New Year Gala; and debuts with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam as a participant in the Ammodo masterclasses led by Fabio Luisi. Next season includes a return to the San Francisco Symphony and his Boston Symphony subscription debut.
Beginning with the 22-23 season, Earl joins the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra as Music Director.
Earl 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, 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 Youth Symphony Orchestra and 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, Earl 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 as a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), with Musicians from Marlboro, with and Gary Burton & Chick Corea as a guest member of the Harlem String Quartet.
Earl has 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. He was the recipient of the 50th Anniversary Heinz Unger Award from the Ontario Arts Council in 2018, of a Solti Career assistance Award in 2021 and has been awarded a Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Scholarship by Kurt Masur and the Ansbacher Fellowship by the American Austrian Foundation and members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He lives in New York City with his wife and their daughter.
SEE YOU AT THE SYMPHONY!