Violinist Ka-Yeon Lee joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 2023. Prior to joining the San Francisco Opera, Ka-Yeon was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and Stephane Deneve. Passionate about bringing healing through music, she has performed globally in prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Kumho Art Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall, as well as museums, nursing homes, schools, shelters, and hospitals.
As a soloist, Ms. Lee has performed in many countries worldwide, including Austria, China, England, Germany, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. At age nine, she was invited by the King of Thailand to perform concerts in Thailand with the Sang Lock orchestra and performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. At age eleven, she was the youngest winner of the Aspen Music Festival Violin Competition and performed Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with the Aspen Music Festival’s American Academy of Conducting Orchestra. She is also the special prize winner of the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition. Her other solo engagements include performing on Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation’s Kumho Prodigy Concert Series in South Korea and NPR’s From the Top. Most recently, she was one of the featured soloists with the New World Symphony, playing Vivaldi under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell.
Ms. Lee has performed at music festivals, including the Verbier Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. As a dedicated chamber musician, she has collaborated with renowned artists such as Richie Hawley and Orion Weiss.
Devoted to furthering music education for the younger generation, Ms. Lee was the youngest to become a Teaching Fellow at the Juilliard School, teaching music theory classes for first-year undergraduate music performance majors during her last year of undergraduate studies there. She was also an Instructor for the Violin for Non-Majors course offered at Rice University. She enjoys serving in the communities as well and was recently a Teaching Artist at the Miami Music Project.
Ka-Yeon was accepted to Juilliard Pre-College as a full scholarship student at age 14. Later, she was accepted to Juilliard as a full-scholarship student as a recipient of C.V.Starr and Stephen E. Somers scholarships and completed her Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Glenn Dicterow and Lisa Kim. She holds her Master of Music degree from Rice University, where she studied with Kathleen Winkler as a full-scholarship student as a recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation scholarship and The Anne and Charles Duncan Concertmaster Chair scholarship recipient. After her studies at Rice, she pursued her Artist Diploma at Colburn Conservatory of Music where she studied with Martin Beaver. Her other primary teachers include Kyung-Sun Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, and Kurt Sassmanshaus.