Biography

Christy Lee continues to lead a diverse career as a collaborative pianist, chamber musician, vocal coach, conductor, and educator.  She recently joined the faculty of the music department at Maryville College in East Tennessee where she is head of the piano division and the Director of the Maryville Community Orchestra.

In the world of opera, Lee has worked as pianist, coach, and assistant conductor at Opera Memphis, Chattanooga Opera, Pensacola Opera, Cleveland Opera, Knoxville Opera, Crested Butte Music Festival, Opera Breve Vocal Intensive, Lake Placid International Voice Seminar, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Lyric Opera Cleveland, and Dorian Opera Theatre. She has worked regularly as Music Director for the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop (Atlanta, GA) and as Principal Coach for the Imperial Symphony Orchestra (Lakeland, FL).  She made her conducting debut in Mozart, Flute of Heaven while serving as Music Director for the Vocal Arts Apprentice Program of Lyric Opera Cleveland in its 1996 Festival Season.  She has also served on the musical staff of Voci nel Montefeltro, an opera training program located in Novafeltria, Italy, assisting in such productions as Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Verdi’s Falstaff and performing in recital in a variety of venues across the Marche region of Italy.

Lee was on the faculty of the College of The Bahamas (Nassau) from 2008 to 2014 where she was a founding member of C Force, a chamber trio, along with Christine Gangelhoff (flute) and Christian Justilien (euphonium).  Since their inception, this innovative ensemble has been offering a unique approach to the concept of chamber music by specializing in performances of Caribbean art music.  Their repertoire includes traditional Classical music as well as arrangements and original compositions from a wide variety of Caribbean composers.  They have quickly gained popularity in the Caribbean region having performed in the Dominican Republic, St. Croix, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago as well as throughout the islands of The Bahamas.  Their first CD, Tchaka Mizik, is a reflection of C Force’s unique fusion of cultures and styles. It was produced in 2010 at the world-renowned Compass Point Studios in Nassau and hailed by Jamaican-born pianist Paul Shaw as “Sheer Magic!”  Their second CD, Deep Blue, dedicated to music of Bahamian composers was released in November 2013 (Lucky Seven label).

Active as a recitalist and a chamber musician, Lee collaborates with both instrumentalists and vocalists.  She has appeared in concert throughout the US, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe.  Recent performances have been with Stanford Olsen, tenor, with the Nassau Music Society, cellist Kenneth Law at the Grand Bahamas Performing Arts Society, and soprano Caroline Schiller with the Memorial Arts Series in Newfoundland, Canada.  Other recordings include Belgian Music for Cello and Piano with cellist Wesley Baldwin (Centaur label) and Broadway Baby, a collaboration with soprano Dalia Feldman produced as a fundraising project for young Bahamian musicians.

Lee was Director of Accompanying and Music Director of UT Opera Theater and the Knoxville Opera Studio at The University of Tennessee for seven years.  She was recently honored with the Brooks Smith Outstanding Alumni in Collaborative Piano Award from The Cleveland Institute of Music.  In May of 2012 Lee had the pleasure of being a translator and vocal coach for the inaugural ACDA US/Cuba Choral Summit in Havana, Cuba.  She holds the DM in Accompanying and Chamber Music from Florida State University where she was the recipient of the prestigious University Fellowship.  She received the Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, in piano performance from The University of Alabama and the Master of Music degree in collaborative piano from The Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was received the first Madame Gwendolyn Koldofsky Accompanying Award.  She made her orchestral debut with the Jackson (Tennessee) Symphony Orchestra as winner of the 1988 Mid-South Piano Concerto Competition.  Originally from Starkville, Mississippi, Lee currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.