Catherine Lee


Korean percussionist Catherine Lee ventures into diverse areas in her solo, chamber, and orchestral performances, from new music to historically informed performance. As a collaborative musician, she seeks opportunities to perform new music by living composers. This search has led her to participate in the Tune-In Music Festival, performing the New York premiere of Inuksuit by John Luther Adams at the Park Avenue Armory (New York) with the Grammy Award-winning group Eighth Blackbird, and world-renowned percussionist Steven Schick. She was also invited to perform with Blue Shift Ensemble at the Continuum Music Festival, premiering works of Iceberg New Music Collective. Other recent performances of new music include performing “Amid the Noise” with So Percussion Ensemble at MSU and premiering many MSU composers’ works in Cook Recital Hall in East Lansing.

Lee has worked as an orchestral percussionist with some of the world’s leading performers, such as Sumi Jo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Joshua Bell and world renowned conductors Leonard Slatkin, Stephane Deneve, Bramwell Tovey, and Myung Whun Chung. She has performed with the Jackson Symphony, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently serving as a principal timpanist at Sinfonietta Memphis, a period performance ensemble presenting historically informed performances, and acting principal timpani and percussion at Adrian Symphony.

Lee was awarded the Kumho Prodigy Award from the Kumho Cultural Foundation and performed her first solo recital at the age of fifteen. Subsequent solo performances have included a concerto winner performance with the Boston University Symphony orchestra in 2017 and a performance as a soloist in the 2023 Tuba Bach Festival percussion recital featuring the MSU percussion studio.

As an educator, she is passionate about training the musicians of the next generation. She currently coaches undergraduate students in the MSU Concert Orchestra former coach for high school students in the Spartan Youth Wind Symphony, and serves as percussion faculty of MSU community music school. As teaching assistant for the percussion studio at MSU, she enjoys teaching music of different cultures, and assists in the African Diaspora ensemble.

She completed a Master of Music, and a Performance Diploma at Boston University under the tutelage of Kyle Brightwell and Tim Genis, and a Bachelor of Music at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University under the tutelage of Robert van Sice. She is currently in the DMA program as a student of Gwen Dease and Jon Weber at Michigan State University.


Catherine Lee headshot