ACCLAIMED Singaporean pianist Clarence Lee, praised by the Straits Times for his “big-boned accounts” and for “drawing out melodies with much tenderness” started playing the piano at the age of 4. His teachers have included Albert Tiu, Thomas Hecht, Melvyn Tan, Lori Kaufman, Marian Hahn, Winnie Tay, Amy Lim and Alice Chang.
MOST recently, he was awarded the Distinction Award at the 1st Hong Kong International Music Competition for Young Pianists, Professional Open Class (2014). His honours and awards also include being an Alternate Finalist at the 5th Seattle International Piano Competition (2013), 2nd Prize at the National Piano & Violin Competition Artist Category (2011), 3rd Prize at the Conservatory’s Piano Concerto Competition (2011), finalist at the 5th New York International Piano Competition (2010), 3rd Prize at the National Piano & Violin Competition Intermediate Category (2005) and Top Prize at the Young Pianist Competition Senior Category (2005). He has participated in the SMTA’s Performers Festival where he received the Platinum Award for performance distinction and was selected by the National Arts Council to participate in the 27th Kirishima Music Festival in Japan (2006). He also participated in the 3rd “Tnjre” International Festival of Young Musicians in Artsakh, Nargono Karabakh Republic (2013).
CLARENCE has always been a strong believer in helping the less fortunate and has been involved in Charity Concerts such as “Living with Colours!” (Tan Tock Seng Hospital Community Charity Fund, 2013), Haiti Earthquake Charity Dinner (Youthsthatcare, 2010), ‘Heartstrings’ Music Concert (Inspire’09), Thomson Medical Centre Charity Dinner (2006) and ChildAid (The Straits Times and Business Times, 2005).
IN September 2013, he was invited by Takashimaya to perform 5 solo recitals over 3 days at the Atrium of Takashimaya Shopping Centre in Singapore. The event, titled ‘Hope & Gratitude – The Miracle Piano’ was part of Takashimaya’s 20th Anniversary celebration where a restored piano that was badly damaged during the 2011 Tsunami was flown in from Japan for the concerts in commemoration of Singapore’s generous support towards the East Japan Tsunami disaster relief.
CLARENCE most recently made his Singapore Symphony Orchestra Debut in July at the President’s Young Performers Concert 2015 where he performed Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major under the direction of Associate Conductor Joshua Tan. He has also appeared as concerto soloist with the Braddell Height’s Symphony Orchestra, Artsakh State Chamber Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Festival Orchestra, Orchestra of the Music Makers and The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory New Music Ensemble and has collaborated with the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory’s Orchestra and Chamber Singers.
IN June 2011, Clarence was selected as a member of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory’s team of musicians who participated in the inaugural Summer University held in Lausanne, Switzerland. This intensive chamber music programme invited top students and artist faculty from 5 music conservatories around the world: the Peabody Institute, Guildhall School of Drama & Music, Lausanne Conservatoire, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
HE has also performed in Master classes held by renowned artists such as Leon Fleisher, Ann Schein, Nikolai Lugansky, Stephen Hough, Martin Roscoe, Jacques Rouvier, Craig Sheppard, Rita Reichman, Daniel de Borah, Gustavo Romero, Jean-Jacques Balet, Vanessa Latarche, Erik Tawaststjerna, Frank Wibaut, Sasha Starcevich, Mikhail Solovei, Friederike Richter, Julie Bees, Andrew Ma, Warren Lee, Victor Asuncion, and by the celebrated piano duos Metro & Foti and Anne & Edward Turgeon.
IN 2006, Clarence was admitted to the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the age of 15 as a National Arts Council Scholar, and graduated with 1st class BMus Honours degree in 2012 after completing his mandatory National Service. He was his class valedictorian and was awarded the coveted Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medallion as the top performing scholar of his cohort. Clarence also has a Master of Music degree and a Graduate Diploma from the Conservatory where he studied with both Prof. Thomas Hecht, Head of Piano Studies and Associate Prof. Albert Tiu.
CLARENCE is currently a part-time lecturer and Principal Study Teacher (Piano) at LASALLE College of the Arts. He also signed a part time contract with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, supporting the Conducting Studio (Master degree) as their pianist.