Violinist Yada Lee has a distinguished international career as a passionate orchestral musician and a concert violinist. This season’s highlights include Thailand Cultural Center solo debut of Sibelius Violin Concerto, Asia tour and European residencies with Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra alongside Gábor Takács-Nagy, commanding chamber music collaboration projects and solo recitals across Asia.
In 2023 Yada enjoyed her roles as a curator and an artist in various projects ranging from solo and chamber music recitals to directing and leading a chamber orchestra. These concerts marked her return to stage in Thailand since the global pandemic.
Other orchestral highlights include summers at Verbier Festival since 2015 and appearances as a guest violinist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as their assistant leader and principal, with Symphoniker Hamburg at Martha Argerich Festival, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company’s Wagner Ring Cycle, Dubrovnik Symphony and Charleston Symphony, to name a few. She was one of the youngest members of Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra since 2008.
Yada has performed under the batons of most prominent conductors including Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, Iván Fischer, Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck, Paavo Järvi, Klaus Mäkelä, Zubin Mehta, Gianandrea Noseda, Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Michael Tilson Thomas, and many others. With various groups, she has performed at music festivals and venues throughout the world such as Carnegie Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Herkulessaal, Koerner Hall, Maison Symphony de Montréal, Smetana Hall, Wiener Musikverein, Usher Hall, and major concert halls across Asia. Yada highly enjoys leadership roles and served as concertmaster and principal for Oberlin Orchestra, Mannes Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, The Orchestra Now and New World Symphony.
Yada’s past solo recitals and chamber music highlights include Beethovenfest in Bonn; Tongyeong International Music Festival; Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival; Mazzoleni Hall and Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in Toronto; “Solo Spotlight” recital at New World Symphony; collaboration with St. Lawrence String Quartet at Spoleto Festival USA; and various digital productions during the global lockdown.
Dedicated to the betterment of society, Yada has given countless benefit concerts for charitable organisations in Thailand, such as Operation Smile Thailand, The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, Wheelchair and Friendship Centre of Asia, Wishing Well Foundation, Thai Red Cross Society, and more. She advocates for sustainability in arts, especially the waste reduction and recycling of strings.
Winner of numerous awards and competitions, Yada Lee has won Mannes Concerto Competition, first prize at the Beethoven National String Competition Thailand, and a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Peter M. Gross Fund, and the Late Princess Galyani Vadhana Foundation. She made her New York solo debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 2014, performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and her Bangkok debut performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in 2010.
Equally at home with repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary, Yada plays the baroque violin and while living in New York she also served as concertmaster of the Mannes American Composer Ensemble under the direction of Lowell Liebermann. She is keen on collaborating and commissioning new music by living composers.
The partnership between New World Symphony and Iberacademy in Medellin, Colombia resulting in a week-long residency of masterclasses and orchestral coachings gave Yada a newfound love and inspiration for music education. She is currently happy to offer online lessons which will allow her to continue teaching from anywhere in the world. Application form is available on the website.
Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Yada completed her orchestra academy fellowship at the New World Symphony. She holds degrees from Mannes School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory and received an Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory. She studied with Paul Kantor, Barry Shiffman, Laurie Smukler and David Bowlin.
Yada Lee plays on a Carlo Antonio Testore violin from 1730.