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CCM Village on the University of Cincinnati campus. Photo by Jay Yocis.

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Owen Christopher Lee

Title: Adjunct Assistant Professor of Double Bass
Office: Memorial Hall
Tel: 513-556-3442
Email: owen.lee@uc.edu

Double bassist Owen Lee has garnered great acclaim as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and - since 1996 at the age of 26 - as Principal Bass of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Lee is heard regularly as a soloist with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jesus Lopez-Cobos and Paavo Jarvi, Scottish Chamber Orchestra under John Harbison, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson-Thomas in Miami and on tour to New York's Lincoln Center. In 2007, Lee and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performed the world premiere of the “Soloist Tuning” version of John Harbison’s Bass Concerto, which was co-commissioned by that orchestra.

Lee's prizes in competitions include First Prize at the 1995 International Society of Bassists Competition and Fourth Prize at the 1992 Irving M. Klein International String Competition in San Francisco.

Lee has recorded the Misek Sonata No. 2 and Bach Suites No. 3 and No. 5 for Boston Records. He can also be heard on all of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's numerous recordings for Telarc International since 1996, most notably the prominent bass solos in Prokofiev's Lt. Kije Suite, Shostakovich's 15th Symphony, Mahler's 10th Symphony and Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.

Lee's extensive international chamber music experience includes three summers as the bassist of the Marlboro Festival. While there, he performed with Richard Stoltzman, Midori, Nobuko Imai, Bruno Canino, Pierre- Laurent Aimard and members of the Beaux Arts Trio, Guarneri Quartet and Juilliard Quartet. He also collaborated with composers Gyorgy Kurtag, Leon Kirchner and Richard Danielpour preparing performances of those composers' works. Lee has also performed with the Tokyo String Quartet on tour to Mexico, the Opus One, Miami and Miro Quartets, Andre Watts, Yefim Bronfman, Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Sharon Robinson, Eugenia Zukerman, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival, Ojai Festival and on tour throughout China.

Lee was a member of the Houston Symphony under Christoph Eschenbach from 1993-96. In addition to his work with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Lee has performed as Principal Bass of Myung-Whun Chung’s Asia Philharmonic Orchestra, Guest Principal Bass with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic (both under Charles Dutoit), Assistant Principal Bass of Gerard Schwarz's Emmy Award winning All-Star Orchestra for PBS and as a guest musician with Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. At the invitation of Pinchas Zukerman, he has performed frequently as Guest Principal Bass with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa) since 2013. During his summer vacation, Lee serves as Principal Bass of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his performing career, Lee is a highly sought after teacher and serves on the faculties of CCM, Chautauqua Music Festival and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has taught masterclasses at Curtis, Juilliard, Yale, Rice, USC, CIM, Peabody, Manhattan School of Music, Carnegie Mellon, New World Symphony, National Orchestral Institute, Sydney Conservatorium, McGill University, Beijing Central Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory and Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. His students can be found in orchestras throughout the world.

Lee is a graduate of the University of Southern California. His teachers were Dennis Trembly, Paul Ellison, Edwin Barker, David Soyer, Nico Abondolo, Julius Levine and David Young.