Pianist Lee Dionne holds passion, imagination, and play at the core of his art. His performances have been described as “impressive” (NYTimes) and “impeccable” (Fanfare Magazine), and he has appeared as a soloist in such venues as Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Philharmonic in Bratislava.
Lee is committed to creating performances that help audiences form personally relevant connections with music. Such experiences have ranged from performance-based talks at major universities to interactive performances in schools, jails, and community centers.
In 2017, Lee co-founded the Merz Trio, an award-winning piano trio known for its innovative programming and interdisciplinary collaboration. The Trio has won top prizes at the Naumburg, Fischoff, Chesapeake, and Concert Artists Guild competitions in recent years. As a chamber musician outside of the Trio, Lee performs frequently as a core member of Cantata Profana and is an alumnus of Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW, a joint program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Institute).
Lee has appeared performing concerti alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Virtuosi. As a chamber musician he has been invited to perform at Staunton Music Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, and Norfolk Summer Music. Lee’s performances have been broadcast live on NPR, Britain’s Classic FM, Holland’s Classic FM, and Portugal’s Antena 2. His recordings of music by Alex Weiser and Susan Kander can be heard on the Cantaloupe and MSR Records labels.
Lee holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music, during which he also received a DAAD fellowship for study abroad in the Soloist Diploma Program at the Musikhochschule in Hannover. Lee has been the recipient of a Presser Foundation music award, third prize in the 2012 James Mottram International Piano Competition, along with a number of Yale prizes for outstanding musicianship, musical leadership, and thesis prizes in music and comparative literature.
Prior to embarking on a career in music, Lee received a B.A. in literature from Yale College. Lee’s many wonderful teachers and mentors have included Boris Berman, Vivian Weilerstein, Matti Raekallio, Wei-yi Yang, Patricia Zander, Wilma Machover, Michael Friedmann, Paul Berry, and Arthur Haas.