Yoon Jae Lee of Ondine Press
Yoon Jae Lee enjoys a multifaceted career as a conductor, arranger, pianist, and artrepreneur. As Founder & Artistic Director of Ensemble 212, Mr. Lee has built one of today’s finest ensembles based in New York. They have received critical acclaim for their innovative programming of works by living composers, exciting interpretations of the standard repertoire, and his own arrangements and transcriptions. A dedicated champion of new music, Mr. Lee has conducted numerous New York and world premieres of works by award-winning composers including Mohammed Fairouz, Huang Ruo, Daniel Felsenfeld, Ke-Chia Chen, Texu Kim, Nina C. Young, and Jeffrey Mumford. Recent highlights include conducting engagements with the PRIZM Chamber Orchestra, and the ensemble mise-en 6th annual new music festival. In March 2019, he conducted a concert devoted exclusively to his own arrangements at the Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western University and served as cover conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra this past summer. His list of guest conductor appearances includes the K Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, the New England Conservatory, Opera on Tap, and collaborations with distinguished artists including Nick Canellakis, D’Anna Fortunato, David Krakauer, Mimi Stillman, and many others. Mr. Lee served as the Principal Conductor of the Albano Ballet Company which commissioned his chamber arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.
Mr. Lee’s arrangements and transcriptions have been performed throughout Asia, Europe, North and South America by leading orchestras such as the Baltimore and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras. Praised by audiences and critics alike, David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer claimed his orchestral transcription of Mendelssohn’s Octet “Incorporated winds and brass…..intelligently.” The New York Times described his chamber version of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony as “Illuminating….. with solos leaping out in unusually bold detail.” He is currently engaged in “The Mahler Chamber Project” to arrange all the symphonies and Das Lied von der Erde for chamber orchestra.
A native of New York City, Mr. Lee is a 2nd generation Korean-American. He received degrees in piano and conducting from the Mannes School of Music where he was awarded the N. T. Milani Memorial Conducting Fellowship and the Peter M. Gross Fund. He also studied at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg in Austria. During that time, he served as Assistant Conductor to the Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie. His conducting mentors include Michael Charry, Dennis Russell Davies, David Hayes, Arkady Leytush, Murry Sidlin, Samuel Wong, and David Zinman.
Mr. Lee has participated in Kurt Masur’s conducting masterclass, the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute led by his keen interest in historical performance practice. He served on the faculty at the Queens College - Aaron Copland School of Music, City College of New York and Haverford College.