B i o g r a p h y
Trey Lee, Cello
Hailed a “Miracle” by Gramophone, Trey Lee enthralls audiences with his virtuosity that combines intellectual sophistication with emotional depth and sensitivity. His concerto debut at Carnegie Hall won him a standing ovation, with The New York Timesdeclaring him “the excellent cellist... with enveloping richness and lyrical sensitivity.”
Trey collaborates with esteemed conductors, composers and orchestras worldwide. The late Lorin Maazel praised him as “a marvelous protagonist...a superb cellist” after conducting Trey as soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. In his performance with the Netherlands Philharmonic at the Royal Concertgebouw Hall, Trey was acclaimed by the critics as a “Star Musician." As a soloist, Trey has also collaborated with Mikko Franck and the Philharmonic Orchestra Radio France, Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Vladimir Ashkenasy and the Mantova Chamber Orchestra, and Benedetti Michelangeli at the Teatro del Verme in Milan. Other notable musicians with whom Trey works include Vassily Sinaisky, Juanjo Mena, Yuri Bashmet, Hannu Lintu, Bright Sheng, Moscow Soloists, BBC Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Tapiola Sinfonietta, London, Munich and Romanian Radio chamber orchestras, among others.
Trey is often invited as a featured artist at major events around the world, such as: the launch of The IMAGINE Project with Yoko Ono, Hugh Jackman and ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Childat the UN General Assembly Hall, and the gala celebration with China’s President Xi Jinping at a live CCTV global broadcast to over 1 billion viewers marking the 20thAnniversary of Hong Kong's Return to China.
Trey has spearheaded several music festivals in Asia, including the Musicus Fest, the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival and most recently, the Reimagine Music Festival of Malaysia as its Artistic Director. He appears often at festivals around the world, including the Kuhmo, Banff, Marlboro, Seoul Spring, and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. On stage, Trey partners with many of today's most sought-after stars such as Bruno Canino, Julia Fischer, Vilde Frang, Pekka Kuusisto, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Alexander Sitkovetsky and the Borodin Quartet.
As Artistic Director of Musicus Society, Trey promotes Chinese culture internationally and cross-cultural collaborations. One of his major passions in this regard has been The Dream of the Red Chamber, a series of songs by composer Wang Liping inspired by the epic Chinese literary masterpiece. A version for cello and traditional Chinese orchestra, The Dream of the Red Chamber Suite, was co-composed with Taiwanese composer Tung Chaoming which was premiered and recorded under maestro Yan Huichang. In 2017, under the direction of Wang Liping, Trey co-arranged with Hong Kong composer Alfred Wong The Dream of the Red Chamber Capricciofor cello and piano in celebration of the 20thAnniversary of Hong Kong’s Return to China, followed by a symphonic version premiered with the DSO and maestro Slatkin on the orchestra’s maiden tour to China. Trey has also given the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s latest cello concerto dedicated to him, The Blazing Mirage, inspired by Dunhuang, one China’s foremost cultural treasures.
Trey is a laureate of major international competitions, including First Prize at the International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition, and major prizes at New York’s Naumburg and Helsinki’s Paulo International Competitions. Several albums in collaboration with EMI have been released, and have topped the classical charts. In addition, Trey can be heard as featured soloist on the original EMI-released sound track recording for the German-Taiwan-Hong Kong co-produced film “The Drummer,” which was in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. His other albums include Bright Sheng's The Blazing Mirage under Naxos, The Dream of Red Chamber Suite with the National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan as well as The Dream of the Red Chamber for Cello and Piano.
Trey has been featured by the Financial Times, CNN, China’s national television CCTV, Phoenix Television and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)’s acclaimed documentary “Outstanding Young Chinese Musicians.” Italy’s foremost newspaper, Il Corriere Della Sera, heralded Trey as one of China’s four classical music “Golden Boys & Girls” alongside with pianists Lang Lang, Yujia Wang and Yundi Li.
Born in Hong Kong, Trey attended Juilliard’s Pre-College Division, Harvard University (where he received his Bachelors in Economics), the New England Conservatory, Madrid’s Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia, the Cologne Musikhochschule, and studied with Frans Helmerson, Laurence Lesser, Bernard Greenhouse, and Ardyth Alton.
In honor of Trey for his musical achievements, two music scholarships have been established under his name at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, one of Asia’s premiere musical institutions. In addition, he was awarded “Leader of the Year” by the Asian media conglomerate Sing Tao Media Group, and the Elle Style Award for “Musician of the Year”. Since 2012, Trey has been an ambassador of UNICEF Hong Kong.
Trey plays on the 1703 "Comte de Gabriac" cello by Matteo Goffriller, and is currently based in Berlin, Germany.