Now beginning his fifth season as Music Director, Yoon Jae Lee enjoys a multi-faceted career as conductor, arranger, and pianist. As Founder & Artistic Director of Ensemble 212, Maestro Lee has built the New York-based orchestra into one of today's finest young ensembles. Together, they have performed over thirty-five concerts and are recognized for creative and innovative programs featuring exciting interpretations of the standard repertoire, Yoon Jae's own arrangements, and works by living composers. Lee is a championof new music collaborating with award-winning composers Mohammed Fairouz & Huang Ruo. He conducted the worldpremieres of Fairouz's Double Concerto, commissioned by Ensemble 212 with Nicholas Kitchen & Yeesun Kim of the Borromeo String Quartet, "Tahrir" with clarinetist David Krakauer, Symphony No. 3 for Soloists, Mixed Chorus & Orchestra with the Young New Yorkers' Chorus and the New York premieres of Fairouz's Symphony No. 2 and Huang Ruo's Path of Echoes: Chamber Symphony No. 1. This season, he will collaborate with Daniel Felsenfeld as part of Ensemble 212's Composer in Residence program. His list of appearances as guest conductor include the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Opera on Tap, and has collaborated with distinguished artists such as the Attacca String Quartet, Daniel Phillips of the Orion String Quartet, mezzo-soprano D'Anna Fortunato, members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Maestro Lee was recently appointed Music Director of the City College Symphony Orchestra, a position beginning in August 2012.
As an arranger, Lee has received critical acclaim for his works. The New York Times described his chamber version of Mahler's Fourth Symphony as
"Illuminating.....with solos leaping out in unusually bold detail." In 2009, he transcribed Mendelssohn's Octet for full orchestra in honor of the composer's
200th anniversary and it was recently performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on their subscription season. He also arranged the finale of Mahler's Third Symphony for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and his latest project is arranging Mahler's First Symphony for reduced orchestra and "Das Lied von der Erde" for chamber orchestra.
A native of New York City, Yoon Jae began musical studies on the violin and piano. At age 17, he began his conducting career, receiving degrees in piano and conducting from the Mannes College 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 Dennis Russell Davies, Samuel Wong, David Hayes, Michael Charry, and Arkady Leytush. Lee has participated in Kurt Masur's conducting masterclass, the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen under the tutelage of David Zinman and Murry Sidlin, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute led by his keen interest in historical performance practice. He currently serves on the adjunct faculty at
City College of New York (CUNY).