Cleveland Orchestra Violinist Amy Lee to Join Oberlin Conservatory Faculty

With Lee’s broad experience as a soloist and orchestral and chamber musician, she brings wide dimension to the role

March 26, 2024

Cathy Partlow Strauss ’84

portrait of Amy Lee with violin
Photo credit: Courtesy of Amy Lee

Jung-Min Amy Lee, Acting Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, has been appointed to the Oberlin Conservatory faculty as associate professor of violin. Lee fills an important role in the Strings Division, with the departure of long-time violin professor David Bowlin.

Oberlin Director of Strings and Professor of Violin Sibbi Bernhardsson is enthusiastic about the expertise Lee will provide within the Oberlin violin faculty.  "Amy Lee is a wonderful musician, a consummate professional, and a passionate teacher. We are thrilled that she will be joining our faculty."

Lee joined the Cleveland Orchestra as Associate Concertmaster in 2008. During her tenure with the orchestra, she has appeared as soloist several times—most recently in Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto in a 2019 concert at the Blossom Music Center and Fratres by Arvo Pärt released on The Cleveland Orchestra’s Adella streaming platform in 2021.

A native of Seoul, Korea, Lee came to the violin relatively late. Her earliest music instruction was on the piano, but at age 10 she began studying the violin. After a summer at Meadowmount a couple years later, she committed herself to a musical path and her rise to the position in Cleveland was brisk. She made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 15 and enrolled at Curtis when she was 16. After completing her bachelor’s degree there, she went to Juilliard where she earned her master’s degree. Just a few months after graduation, she won the audition in Cleveland. 

Along the way, she performed as soloist with numerous orchestras in Europe and across the United States and she took first prize at the 2004 Irving Klein Irving M. Klein International String Competition and the 2005 Corpus Christi International Competition for piano and strings.

An active chamber musician, she is a member of the Omni Quartet and Ensemble HD, and she performs at Marlboro Music Festival. Lee is a former member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two.

Lee currently coaches chamber music at the Cleveland Institute of Music and, for a decade, she served as a violin professor at Kent State University in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. She spends her summers as a faculty member at the Kent Blossom Music Festival in Kent, Ohio.

Lee’s appointment at Oberlin begins in fall 2024.

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