Won Suk Lee


Name: Won Suk Lee

Instrument: Percussion

Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Alma maters: Curtis Institute of Music, B.M. 2016; Temple University, M.M. 2018

Instagram: @wonpercussion

Photos by Matt Dine, Andrew Bogard, and Matt Jolly 


Awards/Competitions: 1st Place, Senior Division, 2013 Philadelphia Orchestra Alfred M. Greenfield Competition; Rising Star, 2015 Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation; Recipient, 2014 Zildjian Percussion Scholarship; Recipient, 2012 Colin Currie Scholarship

Appearances: ensemble [______], co-founder and percussion soloist, 2016–present; The Philadelphia Orchestra, concerto soloist, 2013; Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, guest principal timpani and percussion, 2016 & 2019; KBS Symphony Orchestra, guest percussion, 2019; New York String Orchestra, 2013; National Repertory Orchestra, 2014; Verbier Festival, 2015–17; Britten-Pears Orchestra, 2015–17, Spoleto Festival USA, 2016 & 2018

What is your earliest memory of classical music? My mother is a full-time pianist. One day, she played Mozart’s 12 Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman” and I was singing (or more like scatting) along with it.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? When I was 14, I was giving a full recital, performing in an orchestra and chamber music concert for the first time. Since then, I’ve always wanted to become a professional musician.

Who is your biggest inspiration? My family

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? Collaborating with other serious artists, who serve the art

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Study more science and math!

Favorite non-classical musician or band: Currently, Billie Holiday

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Piano or voice

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Painter, chef, or stage director

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? It’s always Seoul, because my family’s there.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why? Socrates, Shakespeare, and Beethoven

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: My earliest professional career was as a child singer/actor.