Yon Joo Lee

Yon Joo Lee with a violin

Violinist Yon Joo Lee has appeared as soloist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Young Artist Orchestra, Old York Road Symphony, Newark Symphony, and Sarah Lawrence Orchestra, among other ensembles. Yon Joo was invited to play in the first violin section of Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia Orchestra in Valencia, Spain in its inaugural year where she worked closely with Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta. She has also played with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Iris Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, and Verbier Festival Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, Kneisel Hall, and the Verbier Music Festival. Yon Joo performed for President Jimmy Carter at the International Human Rights Leaders Conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She has performed with Robert Spano, James Levine, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, David Shifrin, Evgeny Kissin, Ron Carter, 3 Doors Down and Kayne West.  

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Yon Joo began playing piano and violin with her mother at an early age. She studied violin with Nam-Yun Kim and piano with her mother until she moved to the U.S at the age of 13. She continued her studies at the Temple Preparatory Division with Sylvia Ahramjian and at the Juilliard Pre-College with Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang and Catherine Cho. She attended Tenafly High School in New Jersey where she played as a concertmaster in musical productions such as the Fiddler on the Roof, Hello Dolly!, and Guys and Dolls. Yon Joo spent ten consecutive summers at the Aspen Music Festival since the age of 14. The experience performing Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with James Conlon and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Lawrence Foster during her first summer in Aspen had a great impact on her. She continued her studies at the Juilliard School, where she concentrated on chamber music and modern music with Bruce Brubaker, Jacob Lateiner, Seymour Lipkin, Robert Mann, Joel Sachs, Harvey Shapiro, and the Juilliard String Quartet.

Currently, Yon Joo lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and her two children. She was appointed Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs in 2023, Associate Concertmaster of the Fort Collins Symphony and section violin of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in 2024. A strong believer in music education, she has been teaching music and violin since 1999. Yon Joo is a recording artist and can be heard on Ancalagon, Sony and Tzadik.