Yada Lee


Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

Alma maters: The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, A.D.; Mannes School of Music, M.M.; Oberlin Conservatory of Music, B.M.

Instagram: @yadaleeviolin

Twitter: @yadaleeviolin

Website: yadalee.com

Photo 1 by Matt Dine; Photo 2 by Sawat Auethaweepol; Photo 3 by Scott Jackson Photography


Awards/competitions: Winner, 2014 Mannes Concerto Competition; First Prize, 2008 National Beethoven Competition, Thailand; Finalist, 2007 Osaka International Music Competition,  Chamber Music

Appearances: New World Symphony, 2017–20; Verbier Festival, 2015–17; Artosphere Festival, 2019–present; Spoleto Festival USA, 2018–present; Britten-Pears Festival Orchestra, 2018; Bangkok Symphony Orchestra 2008–present

What is your earliest memory of classical music? Hearing my mother on the piano

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? When I was 15

How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply? I heard of it when it was founded and I think it is the right place for me to be right now.

Who is your biggest inspiration? My colleagues I see and hear every day. They work so hard and they make me want to become a better musician and a better human being.

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? There are many, but at this point in my life Prokofiev’s music seems to connect with me the most.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? I love how music has taken me places to meet with all these people I never dreamed of meeting!

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Patience. You got this!

Favorite non-classical musician or band: Punch Brothers, Kishi-Bashi

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? I want to be very good at viola!

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? I wanted to be an architect. I love Frank Lloyd Wright.

What is your favorite place you’ve travelled to and why? Switzerland. It’s so clean and beautiful. The water, the air, and the Alps!!

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why? My parents and my uncle, because I miss them.

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: The same thing I would be telling my younger self: Patience. You got this!