Violinist JOHNNY LEE joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in September 2005. Previously, he was Concertmaster of the Canton Symphony and Assistant Concertmaster of the Charlotte Symphony. He was also a member of the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago.
Johnny has been a featured soloist with the LA Phil twice, performing Vivaldi concertos at Walt Disney Concert Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Charlotte Symphony, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. Most recently, he performed concertos by Beethoven, Bruch, and Mendelssohn with local orchestras here in Los Angeles.
An avid chamber musician, Johnny appears frequently on the LA Phil’s Chamber Music series. In addition to performing piano quintets with Thomas Adès and Christoph Eschenbach, he has recorded the Ustvolskaya Clarinet Trio with David Howard and Vicki Ray for Yarlung Records. As a founding member of Ensemble Ditto, Johnny helped introduce more than 15,000 people to chamber music as South Korea’s most popular classical musical presentation of 2008. During his three years with the group, he made several recordings for Universal Music, performing works by Saint-Saëns, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky. Johnny also appears on Ensemble Ditto’s latest album, Schubertiology, which was recorded live at Seoul Arts Center in June 2015. All of these recordings are available on iTunes.
Johnny began playing the violin at age five and won his first competition three years later. An Ohio native, he spent his weekends taking lessons with Carol Ruzicka and Linda Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). After graduating from Harvard College with a cum laude degree in Economics, Johnny realized music was his true passion and returned to CIM to study with William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. He graduated with a master’s degree in 2003.
Johnny lives in downtown L.A., where he is usually eating sushi. You can follow him on Instagram at @jungroar.