Christopher Lee

Christopher Collins Lee, violinist, became a protégé of Zino Francescatti at the age of sixteen, traveling with him throughout on his final tours. He studied violin and composition at Curtis and Juilliard, earned a Doctorate degree, was a Fulbright Scholar, and has been awarded four Honorary Doctorate degrees. His other principal teachers were Dorothy DeLay, Arthur Grumiaux, Henryk Szeryng and Nathan Milstein.

He has received top prizes in the Carl Flesch International Competition, the Tibor Varga International Competition, the J.S. Bach International Violin Competition, The Lion D’or of the French government, a Guggenheim Grant, the Belgian American Award, and The Fritz Kreisler Prize.

As an Official Musical Ambassador of the U.S. Department of State, he has played thousands of concerts worldwide under their auspices, including forty solo concert tours . In his youth, he introduced the violin to parts of Tibet, Singapor and Macao. One of his recordings was chosen to represent human culture on the Voyager Time Capsule, which is now leaving our solar system.

Christopher Lee has long been a favorite at the Marlboro, Mozarteum, Maggio Musicale and other celebrated music festivals around the world. Ian Hodgson wrote in Strad Magazine, “He is a communicator. He draws each listener into the world of each composer, and distills a kind of musical essence”. The New York Times termed Christopher Lee “an impressive, stylish violinist with something special to say,” The Daily News, “His playing was a joy as always.” The Tass News Agency praised him for an “expressive big technique, with musical insights to match… placing him in the front rank of today’s top violinists.” Musical America twice listed him on their annual “Ten Young Musicians to Watch”, and Nathan Milstein once said, “Christopher Lee has the most beautiful violin sound of his generation.”

Christopher Collins Lee has performed violin concerti with Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Commissiona, Lucas Foss, and Arthur Fiedler among many other conductors.

Works which have been premiered by him, some also in their first recording, include Aaron Copland’s Ballades for Violin and Piano with Leonard Bernstein playing the piano; Variations from the opera, “Daphne” by Richard Strauss; Darius Milhaud’s “Second Sonata”;“Final Alice” by David del Tredici; and the Concertino by Xavier Montsalvadge at an internationally televised gala attended by the octogenarian composer and the King of Spain, still frequently rebroadcast in Latin American countries.

Christopher Collins Lee has recorded for CBS, Desto, Everest, Arista and the Quattro Corde labels. His popular concert and lecture series on Mozart’s Life and Times are in great demand. He plays the celebrated 1771 “Accardo” violin made by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini.