Passionate performances that delight

Lee finds new colours and sounds in every performance

As soon as the first chord announcing the final movement of Saint-Saëns’ ‘Organ’ Symphony thundered out of the Town Hall organ in Leeds, Lee knew this was the instrument for him. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Lee's introduction to the organ was in this secular location, and late – he didn’t begin lessons until his teenage years.

Fewer than two years after his first steps at St Peter’s Church in Harrogate, Lee was appointed Organ Scholar at Hertford College in the University of Oxford, where he spent five happy years, giving recitals in both the Town Hall and the Sheldonian Theatre, as well as in almost all of the college chapels.

After two years as Director of Music at Christ Church, Southgate in London, Lee was awarded the Organ Scholarship at York Minster, a position he held for two years. During his time there he was honoured to work alongside Philip Moore and John Scott Whiteley, not least as one of the organists at the Installation of John Sentamu as Archbishop of York, that was broadcast live across the world. Lee's time in York gave him a chance to formalise his organ studies, taking lessons in Edinburgh and London, studying with, amongst others; Anne Marsden Thomas, Ludger Lohman, and Jos van der Kooy.

As an organist Lee has performed on BBC One and BBC Two, BBC Radio 3 and 4, and toured throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. He is universally acclaimed for the breadth of his repertoire, and the cohesion he brings to recital programmes. Works from the fifteenth century right through to the present day often feature, as do works inspired by jazz and blues. In common with his other musical activities, Lee is particularly keen to support the work of living and recent composers. Whilst at Oxford he gave the first performance of the complete organ works of John Cage. He has performed organ works by Thomas Adès, Mason Bates, Jonathan Harvey, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Per Nørgård, and Wolfgang Rihm, and given première performances of numerous organ works, including a number of works by his good friends Gordon Lawson and Adrian Self.

He does not, however, neglect the classics! He has performed the complete works of Bach and Buxtehude, and popular works by composers including Franck, Howells, Stanford, and Widor are frequently included in recitals. He also performs a number of transcriptions of major works, including Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, Sibelius Karelia Suite, Smetana Vltava, and Vivaldi The Four Seasons.

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